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The historical global sea-level budget

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Abstract:

We analyze the global sea-level budget since 1850. Good estimates of sea-level contributions from glaciers and small ice caps, the Greenland ice sheet and thermosteric sea level are available over this period, though considerable scope for controversy remains in all. Attempting to close the sea-level budget by adding the components results in a residual displaying a likely significant trend of 0.37 mm a–1 from 1955 to 2005, which can, however, be reasonably closed using estimated melting from unsurveyed high-latitude small glaciers and ice caps. The sea-level budget from 1850 is estimated using modeled thermosteric sea level and inferences from a small number of mountain glaciers. This longer-term budget has a residual component that displays a rising trend likely associated with the end of the Little Ice Age, with much decadal-scale variability that is probably associated with variability in the global water cycle, ENSO and long-term volcanic impacts.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756411799096196

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology.

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