Europe Sea Levels

Published data were used to analyse the long-term mean sea level trends at 17 locations located in the Europe.   Stations were located in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Italy and Georgia.

The data used were all from the website of PSMSL (the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level) which maintains a huge, worldwide database of sea level data.   Only raw data were used (ie as originally recorded, without any adjustments).  These data are relative to the local land levels.

Europe Map Blank

 

Table Europe

 

The span of records of the data ranged from 86 years to 168 years; the earliest record (at Maassluis) commencing in 1848.  There are records for Brest since 1807 but the data prior to 1901 were inconsistent with data from other stations and were not used in this analysis.

The plots shown below are of the annual means at each of the 17 locations. On each plot a linear “best fit” trendline has been added.  The “slope” of the trendline, expressed in cm / century, are included in the table above.

 

ANNUAL MEAN SEA LEVEL TRENDS FOR INDIVIDUAL STATIONS

Narvik (Norway) 1929-2014

Narvik

 

Heimsjo (Norway) 1928-2014

Heimsjo

 

Bergen (Norway) 1916-2014

Bergen

 

Oslo (Norway) 1916-2014

Oslo

 

Vaasa (Finland) 1884-2014

Vaasa

 

Helsinki (Finland) 1879-2014

Helsinki

 

Stockholm (Sweden) 1859-2015

Stockholm

 

Olands Norra Udde (Sweden) 1887-2015

OlandsNorraUdde

 

Warnemunde (Germany) 1856-2014

Warnemunde

 

Copenhagen (Denmark) 1889-2012

Copenhagen

 

Maassluis (Netherlands) 1848-2015

Maassluis

 

North Shields (United Kingdom) 1896-2015

NorthShields

 

Newlyn (United Kingdom) 1916-2014

Newlyn

 

Brest (France) 1901-2015

Brest

 

Marseille (France) 1885-2015

Marseille

 

Trieste (Italy) 1875-2015

Trieste

 

Poti (Georgia) 1874-2015

Poti

 

DISCUSSION AND COMMENTS

  • The annual mean sea level trend-lines for all 17 stations are remarkably linear with no indication of inceasing or decreasing trend in recent decades.
  • The values of the trendline slopes (which do not allow for changes in local land levels) are less important than the changes (acceleration or decceleration) in the trendline slopes.
  • There is a wide range in the slopes of the trendlines (-72.7 to +66.5 cm/century) at different locations.
  • Eight of the stations, all located in Norway, Sweden or Finland, have negative long-term trends (ie the local sea level is falling relative to the land).  This reflects the significant isostatic rebound effect due to deglaciation in the Scandinavian region.
  • The records for Poti have an extremely high positive trendline slope (+66.5 cm / century) which probably reflects the reported subsidence of the land level at that location.
  • At all the other locations (except for Copenhagen) the trendline slopes were in the narrow range of 12.5-19.0 cm / century.

 

The Author:

This article was written by Brian Gunter of Narooma, NSW. In his previous life Brian was an engineering hydrologist involved over many years in the analysis of rainfall and river flow data for the planning of water resources projects in Australia, Asia and Africa. In recent years he has been one of the Marine Rescue NSW (previously Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol) volunteer weather observers who operate the Narooma station for the Bureau of Meteorology.

 

 

 

 

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