Mapping Sea-Level Change in Time, Space, and Probability

TitleMapping Sea-Level Change in Time, Space, and Probability
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHorton BP, Kopp R, Garner A, Hay C, Khan N, Roy K, Shaw T
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
Date Published10/2018

Future sea-level rise generates hazards for coastal populations, economies, infrastructure, and ecosystems around the world. The projection of future sea-level rise relies on an accurate understanding of the mechanisms driving its complex spatio-temporal evolution, which must be founded on an understanding of its history. We review the current methodologies and data sources used to reconstruct the history of sea-level change over geological (Pliocene, Last Interglacial, and Holocene) and instrumental (tide-gauge and satellite alimetry) eras, and the tools used to project the future spatial and temporal evolution of sea level. We summarize the understanding of the future evolution of sea level over the near (through 2050), medium (2100), and long (post-2100) terms. Using case studies from Singapore and New Jersey, we illustrate the ways in which current methodologies and data sources can constrain future projections, and how accurate projections can motivate the development of new sea-level research questions across relevant timescales.