Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Nature Communications






1935 (1-11)


While there is evidence for an acceleration in global mean sea level (MSL) since the 1960s, its detection at local levels has been hampered by the considerable influence of natural variability on the rate of MSL change. Here we report a MSL acceleration in tide gauge records along the U.S. Southeast and Gulf coasts that has led to rates (>10 mm yr−1 since 2010) that are unprecedented in at least 120 years. We show that this acceleration is primarily induced by an ocean dynamic signal exceeding the externally forced response from historical climate model simulations. However, when the simulated forced response is removed from observations, the residuals are neither historically unprecedented nor inconsistent with internal variability in simulations. A large fraction of the residuals is consistent with wind driven Rossby waves in the tropical North Atlantic. This indicates that this ongoing acceleration represents the compounding effects of external forcing and internal climate variability.


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Data Availability

Article states: "The tide gauge data used in this study is publicly available from the Permanent Service of Mean Sea Level (, while the GRD fingerprints and VLM estimates at individual locations are accessible from the ref. 7 and/or from the cited literature in the methods section. All CMIP5 and CMIP6 models are available under and https://esgf-node.llnl. gov/search/cmip6/, respectively."

"Codes for the performance of the singular spectrum analysis are publicly available from . The sea level data with contributions of each component as well as codes for the evaluation of the sea level rates have been deposited in the ZENODO database under accession code Codes to produce the figures and the Rossby wave model are available from the corresponding author upon request."

Corresponding author: Sönke Dangendorf (ORCID: 0000-0002-3679-5234)

Original Publication Citation

Dangendorf, S., Hendricks, N., Sun, Q., Klinck, J., Ezer, T., Frederikse, T., Calafat, F. M., Wahl, T., & Törnqvist, T. E. (2023). Acceleration of U.S. Southeast and Gulf coast sea-level rise amplified by internal climate variability. Nature Communications, 14(1), 1-11, Article 1935.


0000-0003-4312-5201 (Klinck), 0000-0002-2018-6071 (Ezer)


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