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Do climate models reproduce complexity of observed sea level changes ?

Abstract : The ability of Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) to capture the statistical behavior of sea level (SL) fluctuations has been assessed at the local scale. To do so, we have compared scaling behavior of the SL fluctuations simulated in the historical runs of 36 CMIP5 AOGCMs to that in the longest (>100 years) SL records from 23 tides gauges around the globe. The observed SL fluctuations are known to manifest a power-law scaling. We have checked if the SL changes simulated in the AOGCM exhibit the same scaling properties and the long-term correlations as observed in the tide gauge records. We find that the majority of AOGCMs overestimates the scaling of SL fluctuations, particularly in the North Atlantic. Consequently, AOGCMs, routinely used to project regional SL rise, may underestimate the part of the externally driven SL rise, in particular the anthropogenic footprint, in the projections for the 21 st century.  AOGCMs overestimate long-term correlations in sea level fluctuations in the North Atlantic  The NCAR CESM1-CAM5-historical run gives the best fit to observed sea level scaling  CMIP5 AOGCM can mask the part of sea level trend driven by external forcings
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Contributor : Mélanie Becker <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 4:50:21 PM
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M Becker, Mikhail Karpytchev, M Marcos, S Jevrejeva, S Lennartz-Sassinek. Do climate models reproduce complexity of observed sea level changes ?. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2016, ⟨10.1002/2016GL068971⟩. ⟨hal-01336184⟩



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