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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Understanding Sea-level Rise Seminar

15:00 - 16:00
29 May 2013
National Oceanography Centre University of Southampton Waterfront Campus European Way Southampton SO14 3ZH Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre Visitors should check before travelling to attend the seminar.

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Aurelie Duchez at .

Event details

Physical Oceanography and Climate seminars

Over the last decade, there has been significant progress in estimating historical sea-level change and understanding the reasons for sea-level change during the 20th century. This includes improved information on sea level in the last interglacial period, and the late Holocene. Data from salt-marsh sea-level records and instrumental records indicate an increase in the rate of global averaged sea-level rise from the 18th to the 20th century. Ocean thermal expansion and the loss of mass from glaciers are the two largest contributors to 20th century sea level change. It is now possible to close the sea level budget using observations alone since 1993 and using a combination of observations and models since 1900. The importance of ocean thermal expansion implies a need to understand the rate of energy storage in the ocean (the largest energy store in the climate system). The improved ability to understand 20th century sea-level rise implies greater confidence in projections of 21st century global mean sea level. There is a considerable regional variability in the rate of rise but at the moment we only have a partial understanding of this regional distribution. Changes in mean sea level have significant implications for changes in the frequency of coastal flooding events.

Speaker information

John Church, CSIRO Fellow with the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and has published across a broad range of topics in oceanography. His area of particular expertise is the role of the ocean in climate, particularly anthropogenic climate change. He was co-editor of "Ocean Circulation and Climate" published by Academic Press in 2001 and Understanding Sea-level Rise and Variability published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2010. He has been a Principal Investigator on NASA/CNES Topex/Poseidon and Jason Science Working Teams since 1987. He was co-convening lead author for the Chapter on Sea Level in the IPCC Third Assessment Report. He was Co-Chair of the international Scientific Steering Group for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment from 1994 to 1998, Chaired the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme from 2006 to 2008 and CoChaired the 2006 WCRP Understanding Sea-level Rise and Variability Workshop. He was awarded the 2006 Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, was a winner of a CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement in 2006, won the 2007 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research and presented the2008 AMOS R.H. Clarke Lecture.

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