Sea Level Rise and Sea Water Intrusion

Global sea level rise is one of the many anticipated consequences of global warming. A rise in global atmospheric temperature will cause thermal expansion of the oceans, melting of mountain glaciers, and promote the ablation of the polar ice sheets. Predictions of sea level rise vary widely and generally range up to 0.6 m over the period 1980-1999 to 2080-2099. This sea level change will not be distributed uniformly around the world [16] and some regions may experience more severe impacts.

Predictions of sea level rise in the Mediterranean are complicated by numerous factors such as prevailing hydraulic conditions and pressure gradients across the Strait of Gibraltar, steric variations and associated changes in the thermohaline circulation, and adjustments to the water budget driven by atmospheric forcing [10]. Over the next 100 years, sea surface and air temperatures are expected to rise between 1.4°C and 5.8°C, and sea level is predicted to rise annually by between 2 and 9 mm per year. The rise in sea level is expected to increase rates of coastal erosion and promote the incursion of salt water into fresh water resources [17].

a Precipitation a Precipitation

Precipitation Ipcc

Fig. 2.3 IPCC predicted multi-model mean changes in (a) precipitation (mm day-1) and (b) runoff (mm day-1) for the period 2080-2099 relative to 1980-1999. Regions are stippled where over 80% of models agree on the sign of the mean change (Modified after Meehl et al. [18])

Fig. 2.3 IPCC predicted multi-model mean changes in (a) precipitation (mm day-1) and (b) runoff (mm day-1) for the period 2080-2099 relative to 1980-1999. Regions are stippled where over 80% of models agree on the sign of the mean change (Modified after Meehl et al. [18])

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