29.10.2014: FB1-Seminar

Prof. Tal Ezer, Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA: "Recent findings of the relation between coastal sea level rise, climate change and ocean dynamics"


11:00 h, Großer Konferenzraum, Düsternbrooker Weg 20



Recent studies show a “hotspot of accelerated sea level rise” along the U.S. East Coast, in particular downstream from the separation point of the Gulf Stream; sea level is rising in this region much faster than global rates and the pace is increasing (i.e., sea level is accelerating). As a result, cities around the Chesapeake Bay and the mid-Atlantic coast have seen acceleration in flooding that already requires the development of adaptation and mitigation plans. There are also growing evidence that climatic changes in ocean dynamics and in particular, weakening in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and slowdown of the Gulf Stream (GS), contribute to rising seas along the U.S. East coast. Despite the fact that climate models have predicted that those changes will occur over the next century under warmer climate conditions, there are conflicting studies that question whether available data today are sufficiently long to show significant trends of slowing down of the AMOC and the GS. Analysis of various data sets will be discussed to show the climatic trends in ocean circulation and their relation with spatial variations in coastal sea level rise. An Empirical Mode Decomposition/Hilbert-Huang Transform (EMD/HHT) method allows us to separate oscillating modes on many different scales from non-linear trends and reconstruct records such as AMOC from other records such as sea level data.


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