Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1061
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1061
03 May 2024
 | 03 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Dynamic Projections of Extreme Sea Levels for western Europe based on Ocean and Wind-wave Modelling

Alisée A. Chaigneau, Angélique Melet, Aurore Voldoire, Guillaume Reffray, Stéphane Law-Chune, and Lotfi Aouf

Abstract. Extreme sea levels (ESLs) are a major threat for low-lying coastal zones. Climate change induced sea level rise (SLR) will increase the frequency of ESLs. In this study, ocean and wind-wave regional simulations are used to produce dynamic projections of ESLs along the western European coastlines. Through a consistent modelling approach, the different contributions to ESLs such as tides, storm surges, waves, and regionalized mean SLR are included as well as most of their non-linear interactions. This study aims at assessing the impact of dynamically simulating future changes in ESL drivers compared to a static approach that does not consider the impact of climate change on ESL distribution. Projected changes in ESLs are analysed using non-stationary extreme value analyses over the whole 1970–2100 period under the SSP5-8.5 and SSP1-2.6 scenarios. The impact of simulating dynamic changes in extremes is found significant in the Mediterranean Sea with differences in the decennial return level of up to +20 % compared to the static approach. This is attributed to the refined mean SLR simulated by the regional ocean general circulation model. In other parts of our region, we observed compensating projected changes between coastal ESL drivers, along with differences in timing among these drivers. This results in future changes in ESLs being primarily driven by mean SLR from the global climate model used as boundary conditions, with coastal contributions having a second order effect, in line with previous research.

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Alisée A. Chaigneau, Angélique Melet, Aurore Voldoire, Guillaume Reffray, Stéphane Law-Chune, and Lotfi Aouf

Status: open (until 14 Jun 2024)

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Alisée A. Chaigneau, Angélique Melet, Aurore Voldoire, Guillaume Reffray, Stéphane Law-Chune, and Lotfi Aouf
Alisée A. Chaigneau, Angélique Melet, Aurore Voldoire, Guillaume Reffray, Stéphane Law-Chune, and Lotfi Aouf

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Short summary
Climate change induced sea level rise increases the frequency of extreme sea levels. This paper presents regional projections of extreme sea levels for western Europe produced with high-resolution models (~6 km). Unlike commonly used coarse-scale global climate models, this approach allows to simulate key processes driving coastal sea level variations such as long-term sea level rise, tides, storm surges induced by low atmospheric surface pressure and winds, waves, and their interactions.