EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Updating sea-level reconstruction since 1900

Jinping Wang1, John Church Church2, Xuebin Zhang3, and Xianyao Chen1
Jinping Wang et al.
  • 1Frontier Science Center for Deep Ocean Multispheres and Earth System, Key Laboratory of Physical Oceanography, Ocean University of China, China (
  • 2Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • 3Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research (CSHOR), CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, Australia

Sea-level rise integrates the responses of several components (ocean thermal expansion, mass loss from glaciers and ice sheets, terrestrial water storage). Before the satellite era, global sea-level reconstructions depend on tide-gauge records and ocean observations. However, the available global mean sea level (GMSL) reconstructions using different methods indicate a spread in sea-level trend over 1900-2008 (1.3~2.0 mm yr-1). With the improved understanding of the causes of sea-level change, here we update the original Church and White (2011) reconstruction by using the latest observations, taking the time-evolving sea-level fingerprint, sterodynamic sea level (SDSL) climate change pattern and local vertical land motion (VLM) into account. The updated trend of GMSL of 1.6 ± 0.2 mm yr-1 (90% confidence level) over 1900-2019 is consistent with the sum of contributions of 1.5 ± 0.2 mm yr-1, slightly lower than 1.8 ± 0.2 mm yr-1 from original reconstruction. The lower trend from the updated reconstruction is mainly due to including residual VLM correction. The trends at tide gauge locations from updated reconstruction agree better with the tide gauge observations, with comparable mean trend of 1.7 mm yr-1 (standard deviation; STD of 2.0 mm yr-1) from observation and 1.7 mm yr-1 (STD of 1.2 mm yr-1) from the updated reconstruction. The inclusion of sea-level fingerprint and SDSL climate change pattern are the dominant contributors for improved reconstruction skill on regional scales at tide gauge locations. This update leads to GMSL solution that are consistent with other reconstructions in terms of long-term trend and 30-year running rate.

How to cite: Wang, J., Church, J. C., Zhang, X., and Chen, X.: Updating sea-level reconstruction since 1900, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10639,, 2023.