Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-935
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-935
 
04 Oct 2022
04 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

The acceleration of sea-level rise along the coast of the Netherlands started in the 1960s

Iris Keizer1, Dewi Le Bars1, Cees de Valk1, André Jüling1, Roderik van de Wal2,3, and Sybren Drijfhout1,2 Iris Keizer et al.
  • 1Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 3Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract. While a global acceleration of sea-level rise (SLR) during the 20th century is now established, locally acceleration is more difficult to detect because additional processes play a role which sometimes mask the acceleration. Here we study the rate of SLR along the coast of the Netherlands from six tide gauge records, covering the period 1890–2000. We focus on the influence of the wind field and the nodal tide variations on the local sea-level trend. We use four generalised additive models, including different predictive variables, and a parametric bootstrap method to compute the sea-level trend. From the sea-level trend, we obtain the continuous evolution of the rate of SLR and its uncertainty over the observational period through differentiation. Accounting for the nodal cycle only or both the nodal cycle and the wind influence on sea level reduces the standard error in the estimation of the rate of SLR. Moreover, accounting for both the nodal and wind influence changes the estimated rate of SLR, unmasking an acceleration of SLR that started in the 1960s. Our best-fitting statistical model yields a rate of SLR of about 1.8 [1.4–2.3] mm/yr in 1900–1919 and 1.5 [1.1–1.8] mm/yr in 1940–1959 compared to 3.0 [2.4–3.5] mm/yr over 2000–2019. If, apart from tidal, wind effects and fluctuations, sea level would have increased at a constant rate, then the probability (the p-value) of finding a rate difference between 1940–1959 and 2000–2019 of at least our estimate is smaller than 1 %. Our findings can be interpreted as an unequivocal sign of the acceleration of current SLR along the Dutch coast since the 1960s. This aligns with global SLR observations and expectations based on a physical understanding of SLR related to global warming.

A small but significant part of the long-term sea-level trend is due to wind forcing related to a strengthening and northward shift of the jet stream. Additionally, we detect a multidecadal mode of sea-level variability forced by the wind with an amplitude of around 1 cm. We argue that it is related to multi-decadal sea surface temperature variations in the North Atlantic, similar to the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability.

Iris Keizer et al.

Status: open (until 04 Jan 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-935', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Nov 2022 reply
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-935 (#1)', Giordano Lipari, 18 Nov 2022 reply
  • CC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-935 (#2)', Giordano Lipari, 02 Dec 2022 reply

Iris Keizer et al.

Data sets

NetherlandsSeaLevelAcceleration Dewi Le Bars, Iris Keizer https://github.com/KNMI-sealevel/NetherlandsSeaLevelAcceleration

Model code and software

NetherlandsSeaLevelAcceleration Dewi Le Bars, Iris Keizer https://github.com/KNMI-sealevel/NetherlandsSeaLevelAcceleration

Iris Keizer et al.

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Short summary
Using tide gauge observations, we show that the acceleration of sea-level rise (SLR) along the coast of the Netherlands started in the 1960s but was masked by wind-field and nodal-tide variations. This finding aligns with global SLR observations and expectations based on a physical understanding of SLR related to global warming.