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Journal Article

Global mean sea-level rise in a world agreed upon in Paris


Bittermann,  Klaus
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Rahmstorf,  Stefan
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Kopp,  R. E.
External Organizations;

Kemp,  A. C.
External Organizations;

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Bittermann, K., Rahmstorf, S., Kopp, R. E., Kemp, A. C. (2017): Global mean sea-level rise in a world agreed upon in Paris. - Environmental Research Letters, 12, 12, 124010.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_22008
Although the 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to hold global average temperature to 'well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels', projections of global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise commonly focus on scenarios in which there is a high probability that warming exceeds 1.5 °C. Using a semi-empirical model, we project GMSL changes between now and 2150 CE under a suite of temperature scenarios that satisfy the Paris Agreement temperature targets. The projected magnitude and rate of GMSL rise varies among these low emissions scenarios. Stabilizing temperature at 1.5 °C instead of 2 °C above preindustrial reduces GMSL in 2150 CE by 17 cm (90% credible interval: 14–21 cm) and reduces peak rates of rise by 1.9 mm yr−1 (90% credible interval: 1.4–2.6 mm yr−1). Delaying the year of peak temperature has little long-term influence on GMSL, but does reduce the maximum rate of rise. Stabilizing at 2 °C in 2080 CE rather than 2030 CE reduces the peak rate by 2.7 mm yr−1 (90% credible interval: 2.0–4.0 mm yr−1).