Deutsch English

Hofstede, J. . Entwicklung des Meeresspiegels und der Sturmfluten: Ist der anthropogene Klimawandel bereits sichtbar?. In: Gönnert, G., Pflüger, B., Bremer, J.-A. (eds.). Von der Geoarchäologie über die Küstendynamik zum Küstenzonenmanagement. Coastline Reports (9), pp. 139-148. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


In the middle of the 1970ies the rise in global temperature accelerated. Scientific consensus prevails that this acceleration was human made. For this century, a further strong increase in global temperatures is anticipated. As a consequence, thermal expansion of the upper layers of the oceans and melting of ice sheets will induce an accelerated sea level rise. IPCC (2007) projects an increase in temperature at the end of this century among 1.8 and 4.0 degrees Celsius. As a consequence, a global average sea level rise among 18 and 59 cm is expected. The question arises, whether the accelerated temperature rise since 1975 is already visible in sea level signals. To answer this question, time series of 17 long-term gauge stations along the North Sea and the Baltic Sea were analysed. The investigation was conducted in the course of a safety check for the master plan coastal defence in Schleswig-Holstein. The results demonstrate that  acceleration in sea level rise did not occur (so far). Neither could a casual relationship be established between anthropogenic climate change and the development of storm surges along the westcoast of Schleswig-Holstein. For the future, however, an accelerated sea level rise and changes in storminess should be accounted for.

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