Watson, P.J., 2016. How to improve estimates of real-time acceleration in the mean sea level signal. In: Vila-Concejo, A.; Bruce, E.; Kennedy, D.M., and McCarroll, R.J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium (Sydney, Australia). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 75, pp. 780–784. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
One of the most critical environmental issues confronting mankind into the foreseeable future remains the ominous spectre of climate change, in particular the pace at which impacts will occur and our capacity to adapt. Sea level rise is one of the key artefacts of climate change that will have profound impacts on global coastal populations. Although extensive research has been undertaken into this issue, there remains considerable conjecture and scientific debate about the temporal changes in mean sea level and the climatic and associated physical forcings responsible for them. Over recent years, significant debate has centered around the issue of a measurable acceleration in mean sea level, a feature central to projections based on the current knowledge of climate science. To reduce this uncertainty, it is necessary to determine the better performing analytical approaches for isolating the mean sea level signal from long, individual ocean water level time series with improved temporal resolution. This paper summarises the testing and development of an analytical tool designed specifically to enhance real-time estimates of velocity and acceleration in mean sea level derived from contemporary ocean water level data sets. The long ocean water level record at San Francisco, USA has been used to highlight the application and utility of the improved approach.