|Foreword: International Space Science Institute (ISSI) Workshop on the Earth’s Cryosphere and Sea Level Change|Bengtsson, L. (2011). Foreword: International Space Science Institute (ISSI) Workshop on the Earth’s Cryosphere and Sea Level Change. Surveys in Geophysics 32(4-5): 315-317 . hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10712-011-9136-0
In: Surveys in Geophysics. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht; Tokyo; Lancaster; Boston. ISSN 0169-3298, more
Rising sea level is perhaps the most severe consequence of climate warming, as much of the world’s population and infrastructure is located near current sea level (Lemke et al. 2007). A major rise of a metre or more would cause serious problems. Such possibilities have been suggested by Hansen and Sato (2011) who pointed out that sea level was several metres higher than now during the Holsteinian and Eemian interglacials (about 250,000 and 120,000 years ago, respectively), even though the global temperature was then only slightly higher than it is nowadays. It is consequently of the utmost importance to determine whether such a sea level rise could occur and, if so, how fast it might happen.
Sea level undergoes considerable changes due to natural processes such as the wind, ocean currents and tidal motions. On longer time scales, the sea level is influenced by steric effects (sea water expansion caused by temperature and salinity changes of the ocean) and by eustatic effects caused by changes in ocean mass.