Tide gauge data at seven sites of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), with information for relative sea-level during the past 140-200 yr, were analyzed to examine the rates and causes of the global sea-level rise (GSLR) during the twentieth century. By subtracting linear trends for relative sea-level rise during the past 100 yr from the observed data, we get the apparent GSLRs of ∼1 mm yr-1 for five sites around the Baltic Sea and Brest. The rate for San Francisco is significantly larger than this, with an optimum value ∼2 mm yr-1. The spatial difference of ∼1 mm yr-1 between these sites is reasonably explained by the recent melting of the Greenland ice sheet with an equivalent sea-level rise of ∼1 mm yr-1. The predicted relative sea-level change for this melting scenario is 0.5 mm yr-1 at sites around the Baltic Sea and Brest, and 1.5 mm yr-1 for San Francisco. The residuals between observations and predictions, ∼0.5 mm yr-1 at all sites, may be contributed by thermal expansion of seawater and/or other melting sources. These results suggest the rate of twentieth-century GSLR to be 1.5 mm yr-1.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics