Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Sea Level Change

  • Peter J. HawkesEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_309


Mean sea level (MSL). An oceanographic term, referring to sea surface level, possibly averaged over an area or a period of time, but with short-period variations such as waves filtered out.

Monthly mean sea level. Average sea surface level, usually at a single location, preferably taken over an integer number of tidal cycles, averaged over a period of about one calendar month.

Global mean sea level. Average sea level, averaged over all sea areas.

Sea level change. Referring to the long-term trend in mean sea level, which may be calculated from a single location or across a region. One can distinguish between absolute sea level change and relative (to the local land level) sea level change.

Projection. Extrapolation to what would happen under given starting conditions, for given changes and given physical assumptions. Climate change projections are often expressed relative to a particular time period, presently usually 1961–1990.


The sea surface is constantly...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hydrodynamics and Metocean GroupHR Wallingford LimitedOxfordshireUK