Ocean model resolution dependence of Caribbean sea-level projections

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Sea-level rise poses severe threats to coastal and low-lying regions around the world, by exacerbating coastal erosion and flooding. Adequate sea-level projections over the next decades are important for both decision making and for the development of successful adaptation strategies in these coastal and low-lying regions to climate change. Ocean components of climate models used in the most recent sea-level projections do not explicitly resolve ocean mesoscale processes. Only a few effects of these mesoscale processes are represented in these models, which leads to errors in the simulated properties of the ocean circulation that affect sea-level projections. Using the Caribbean Sea as an example region, we demonstrate a strong dependence of future sea-level change on ocean model resolution in simulations with a global climate model. The results indicate that, at least for the Caribbean Sea, adequate regional projections of sea-level change can only be obtained with ocean models which capture mesoscale processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14599
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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