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Sea level response to geoengineering by 2100

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Jevrejeva
    Prof R Williams
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This is an extract of the research project. Simply click on “Apply on-line” above for an instant access to the complete version.


This work aims to provide knowledge on how global and regional sea levels are likely to be changed over the next 100 years as a consequence of geoengineered reduction in radiative forcing.

The main objective of this study is to make projections of changes in sea level components, such as ocean heat content and contribution from melting of glaciers and ice sheets, due to effect of geoengineering with offset of greenhouse gas warming. These projections will be compared to the global and regional sea level projections with climate (RCP) scenarios (Figure 2), as well as long term implications from simple climate balances [Williams et al., 2012; Goodwin et al., 2015].

Work description

In this study sea level rise is considered as a combination of changes in two main sea level components: changes in global ice volume (melting of glaciers and ice sheets) and changes in global ocean heat content. Student will explore how each component will respond to the future radiative forcings and geoengineering scenarios.

To estimate changes in ocean sea level component (ocean heat content) student will utilized outputs from AOGCMs participating in the IPCC Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and Geoengineering Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP). Student will produce maps of regional sea level patterns due to changes in ocean heat content for climate (RCP) scenarios with defined radiative forcings and two geoengineering scenarios, in which radiative forcing has been reduced by geoengineered reduction is solar insolation.
Student will examine the changes in melting of glaciers and ice sheets with prescribed future radiative forcings and geoengineering scenarios using outputs from Earth System Models.
Maps of regional sea level changes will result from regional patterns of mass changes of the ocean from glaciers and ice sheets and changes in thermal expansion of the ocean with climate scenarios and geoengineering solutions.


The student will also benefit from a comprehensive training programme provided by NOC and the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool. This training is designed to develop each student to their full potential as a researcher and equip them to compete for the very best jobs and research opportunities. There will be opportunities to present the research results at postgraduate workshops and international conferences.

In addition, the student will have an opportunity to visit Beijing Normal University and participate in GeoMIP project experiments (funds from Beijing Normal University Geoengineering Project, three-four weeks).

Funding Notes

Competitive tuition fee, research costs and stipend (£14,056 tax free) from the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership “Understanding the Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean” (DTP website: led by the University of Liverpool, the National Oceanographic Centre and the University of Manchester. The studentship is granted for a period of 42 months. Further details on eligibility, how to apply, deadlines for applications and interview dates can be found on the website. EU students are eligible for a fee-only award.


Church et al, 2013. Sea Level Change. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA

Goodwin, P., R.G. Williams and A. Ridgwell, 2015. Sensitivity of climate to cumulative carbon emissions due to compensation of ocean heat and carbon uptake, Nature Geoscience, 8, 29-34, doi:10.1038/ngeo2304

Irvine et al, 2012. Tension between reducing sea-level rise and global warming through solar-radiation management, Nature Climate Change, 2, 97–100, doi:10.1038/nclimate1351

Jevrejeva et al, 2010. How will sea level respond to changes in natural and anthropogenic forcings by 2100? Geophys. Res. Lett, 37, L07703, 2010GL042947

Moore et al, 2010. Efficacy of geoengineering to limit 21st century sea-level rise, PNAS,

Robock et al, 2009. The benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi: 10.1029/2009GL039209

Slangen, A. 2012. Modelling regional sea-level changes in recent past and future. PhD thesis. Utrecht University. ISBN 978-90-393-5868-9.

Williams, R.G., P. Goodwin, A. Ridgwell and P.L. Woodworth, 2012. How warming and steric sea level rise relate to cumulative carbon emissions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L19715, doi:10.1029/2012GL052771.

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