Pressure effects on past regional sea level trends and variability in the German Bight


The impact on a large-scale sea level pressure field to the regional mean sea level changes of the German Bight is analysed. A multiple linear regression together with an empirical orthogonal function analysis is used to describe the relationship between the sea level pressure and the regional mean sea level considering the time period 1924–2001. Both, the part of the variability and of the long-term trend that can be associated with changes in the sea level pressure, are investigated. Considering the whole time period, this regression explains 58 % of the variance and 33 % of the long-term trend of the regional mean sea level. The index of agreement between the regression result and the observed time series is 0.82. As a proxy for large-scale mean sea level changes, the mean sea level of the North East Atlantic is subsequently introduced as an additional predictor. This further improves the results. For that case, the regression explains 74 % of the variance and 87 % of the linear trend. The index of agreement rises to 0.92. These results suggest that the sea level pressure mainly accounts for the inter-annual variability and parts of the long-term trend of regional mean sea level in the German Bight while large-scale sea level changes in the North East Atlantic account for another considerable fraction of the observed long-term trend. Sea level pressure effects and the mean sea level of the North East Atlantic provide thus significant contributions to regional sea level rise and variability. When future developments are considered, scenarios for their future long-term trends thus need to be comprised in order to provide reliable estimates of potential future long-term changes of mean sea level in the German Bight.
QR Code: Link to publication