A high‐end estimate of sea‐level rise for practitioners

van de Wal, R. S. W., Nicholls, R. J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109, Behar, D., McInnes, K., Stammer, D., Lowe, J. A., Church, J. A., Deconto, R., Fettweis, X., Goelzer, H., Haasnoot, M., Haigh, I. D., Hinkel, J., Horton, B. P., James, T. S., Jenkins, A., Lecozannet, G., Levermann, A., Lipscomb, W. H., Marzeion, B., Pattyn, F., Payne, T., Pfeffer, T., Price, S. F., Seroussi, H., Sun, S., Veatch, W. and White, K. (2022) A high‐end estimate of sea‐level rise for practitioners. Earth's Future, 10 (11). ISSN 2328-4277

[thumbnail of Highend_vandewal_etal181022black]
PDF (Highend_vandewal_etal181022black) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (719kB) | Preview


Sea-level rise (SLR) is a long-lasting consequence of climate change because global anthropogenic warming takes centuries to millennia to equilibrate for the deep ocean and ice sheets. SLR projections based on climate models support policy analysis, risk assessment and adaptation planning today, despite their large uncertainties. The central range of the SLR distribution is estimated by process-based models. However, risk-averse practitioners often require information about plausible future conditions that lie in the tails of the SLR distribution, which are poorly defined by existing models. Here, a community effort combining scientists and practitioners builds on a framework of discussing physical evidence to quantify high-end global SLR for practitioners. The approach is complementary to the IPCC AR6 report and provides further physically plausible high-end scenarios. High-end estimates for the different SLR components are developed for two climate scenarios at two timescales. For global warming of +2 ˚C in 2100 (RCP2.6/SSP1-2.6) relative to pre-industrial values our high-end global SLR estimates are up to 0.9 m in 2100 and 2.5 m in 2300. Similarly, for a (RCP8.5/SSP5-8.5) we estimate up to 1.6 m in 2100 and up to 10.4 m in 2300. The large and growing differences between the scenarios beyond 2100 emphasize the long-term benefits of mitigation. However, even a modest 2 ˚C warming may cause multi-meter SLR on centennial time scales with profound consequences for coastal areas. Earlier high-end assessments focused on instability mechanisms in Antarctica, while here we emphasize the importance of the timing of ice shelf collapse around Antarctica. This is highly uncertain due to low understanding of the driving processes. Hence both process understanding and emission scenario control high-end SLR.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Research Funding: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; UK Met Office; National Center for Atmospheric Research; National Science Foundation. Grant Number: 1852977; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Grant Number: MA 6966/1-2; Fonds De La Recherche Scientifique - FNRS. Grant Numbers: O0100718F, EOS ID 30454083; Earth Observatory of Singapore Australian Research Council. Grant Numbers: DP190101173, DP190101173; Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research; QNLM; CSIRO; PROTECT; European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Grant Number: 869304; Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union project RECEIPT. Grant Number: 820712; Research Council of Norway. Grant Numbers: 270061, 295046, 324639; National Infrastructure for High Performance Computing and Data Storage in Norway. Grant Numbers: NS8006K, NS8085K, NS9560K, NS9252K, NS5011K; Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Programme; Climate Change Geoscience Program of the Geological Survey of Canada; Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund. Grant Number: MOE2019-T3-1-004; Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology; Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative; Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science. Grant Number: SR200100008; NASA’s Cryospheric Science and Sea Level Change Team programs; NPP; U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research program.
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2022 12:30
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2022 00:50
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/89217
DOI: 10.1029/2022EF002751


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item