What Caused the Accelerated Sea Level Changes Along the U.S. East Coast During 2010–2015?

Ricardo Domingues, Gustavo Goni, Molly Baringer, Denis Volkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Accelerated sea level rise was observed along the U.S. eastern seaboard south of Cape Hatteras during 2010–2015 with rates 5 times larger than the global average for the same time period. Simultaneously, sea levels decreased rapidly north of Cape Hatteras. In this study, we show that accelerated sea level rise recorded between Key West and Cape Hatteras was predominantly caused by a ~1 °C (0.2 °C/year) warming of the Florida Current during 2010–2015 that was linked to large-scale changes in the Atlantic Warm Pool. We also show that sea level decline north of Cape Hatteras was caused by an increase in atmospheric pressure combined with shifting wind patterns, with a small contribution from cooling of the water column over the continental shelf. Results presented here emphasize that planning and adaptation efforts may benefit from a more thorough assessment of sea level changes induced by regional processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13,367-13,376
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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