EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Long-Term Wind Influence on Sea Level Along the Dutch Coast 

Iris Keizer1, Dewi Le Bars1, André Jüling1, Sybren Drijfhout1,2, and Roderik van de Wal2,3
Iris Keizer et al.
  • 1Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Research & Development, Utrecht, Netherlands (
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University
  • 3Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University

We studied the wind influence on multidecadal variability and trend of sea level along the Dutch coast. Annual mean sea level for the period 1890 to 2020 is obtained from 6 tide gauges. We compared three widely used multi-linear regression models relating sea level and wind based on either local zonal and meridional wind speed or large-scale pressure patterns. For this purpose, surface wind and pressure data from the ERA5 reanalysis and the twentieth century reanalysis v3 (20CRv3) are used 


We find a significant multi-decadal mode of variability with an amplitude of around 1 cm and a period of 40 to 60 years that is related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability. We show that this multi-decadal wind variability is responsible for an average drop in sea level of 0.5 mm/yr over the last 40 years which is around a quarter of the total sea level rise of 2 mm/yr over that period. Therefore, wind effects on sea level partly masked sea level acceleration at the Dutch coast. This is important for sea level monitoring supporting decision making. 


The same multi-linear regression models are then applied to the CMIP6 historical and future climate scenario data to make projections of future wind impact on sea level along the Dutch coast. Contrary to our expectation based on a previous study in the German Bight (Dangendorf et al. 2014) we find no sign that long term wind changes will increase sea level during the 21st century. 



Dangendorf, Sönke, Thomas Wahl, Enno Nilson, Birgit Klein, and Jürgen Jensen. “A New Atmospheric Proxy for Sea Level Variability in the Southeastern North Sea: Observations and Future Ensemble Projections.” Climate Dynamics 43, no. 1–2 (July 2014): 447–67. 


How to cite: Keizer, I., Le Bars, D., Jüling, A., Drijfhout, S., and van de Wal, R.: Long-Term Wind Influence on Sea Level Along the Dutch Coast , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8657,, 2022.


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