Influence of Atmospheric Circulation on the Baltic Sea Level Rise under the RCP8.5 Scenario over the 21st Century


This study aims to estimate the influence of atmospheric circulation modes on future Baltic Sea level rise under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) climate scenario for the period 2006–2100. For this estimation, the connection between the sea level variations in two selected representative locations—Stockholm and Warnemünde, and two atmospheric indices—the Baltic Sea and North Sea Oscillation (BANOS) index and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index is statistically analysed. Correlations of winter means between atmospheric indices, BANOS and NAO, and tide gauges are measured as 0.85 and 0.55 for Stockholm, and 0.55 and 0.17 for Warnemünde over the period 1900–2013. Assuming that the established connection remains unchanged, the influence of atmospheric circulation modes on future Baltic Sea level rise is estimated from the projections of atmospheric indices, which are constructed from the SLP outputs of climate models participating in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) under the RCP8.5 scenario. The main conclusion is that the contribution of those atmospheric modes to the Baltic Sea level rise is likely to remain small over the 21st century. Additionally, corresponding trend estimations of model realizations indicate the large influence of the internal climatic variability of the CMIP5 models on those future trends. One of the most important findings of this study is that anthropogenic forcing does not play a key role in the evolution of these atmospheric indices.
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