Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 227–236

Relationship between global mean sea-level and global mean temperature in a climate simulation of the past millennium


  • Hans von Storch
    • GKSS Research Centre
    • KlimaKampus
    • GKSS Research Centre
    • KlimaKampus
  • Jesús F. González-Rouco
    • Depto. de Astrofśica y CC. Atmósfera, U. Complutense

DOI: 10.1007/s10236-008-0142-9


The possibility of using global mean near-surface temperature, its rate of change or the global mean ocean heat-flux as predictors to statistically estimate the change of global mean sea-level is explored in the context of a long climate simulation of the past millennium with the climate model ECHO-G. Such relationships have recently been proposed to by-pass the difficulty of estimating future sea-level changes based on simulations with coarse-resolution climate models. It is found that, in this simulation, a simple linear relationship between mean temperature and the rate of change of sea level does not exist. A regression parameter linking both variables, and estimated in sliding 120-year windows, varies widely along the simulation and, in some periods, even attains negative values. The ocean heat-flux and the rate-of-change of mean temperature seem to better capture the rate-of-change of sea level due to thermal expansion.


Global sea-level Temperature Last millennium Climate simulation Climate change

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© The Author(s) 2008