Core Project: Geophysical Causes of Present-Day Global Sea Level Rise


This project is designed to directly address the CWC question, "Does human intervention have the potential to push the climate system such that abrupt changes become more frequent, intense and rapid?" through a comprehensive undertaking of the interdisciplinary science of global sea level change. The primary purpose of the Core Project is to bring together experts to form a team within The Ohio State University to:

  1. Advance the interdisciplinary science of sea level change resulting from anthropogenic warming
  2. develop an innovative cyber-infrastructure system for dissemination scientific of results to toad in mitigation of sea level rise hazards for the world's low-lying regions.

This project will reduce uncertainties in the sea level budget and near-future sea level change by addressing the following open scientific questions:

  1. Can we resolve the controversy of whether there is a present-day (1990s – present) accelerated sea level rise, which would be an indication of anthropogenic warming?
  2. Can we explain, with high confidence, each of the plausible geophysical sources influencing sea level change, and reconcile with observed sea level rise?
  3. Can we better constrain the physical processes governing ice sheet sensitivity to climate forcing, to improve the prediction of ice-sheet contribution to near-future sea level rise under anthropogenic warming?

Project Status

Recent work and accomplishments include:


C.K. Shum
School of Earth Sciences
College of Math and Physical Sciences

Jason Box
Polar Meteorology Group
Byrd Polar Research Center

Ian Howat
Glacier Dynamics Group
Byrd Polar Research Center