2011 David Packard Distinguished Lecturer
Carl Wunsch, Ph.D
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Climate and sea level change
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Pacific Forum—3:00 p.m.
Sea level change historically has been studied primarily on a local basis for purposes of understanding beach erosion, storm surges, and the like, and was regarded as without much scientific interest. In recent years, with concerns over global warming, has come recognition that it is one of the most interesting and complicated of oceanographic phenomena, shifting on time scales from hours to thousands and millions of years. Understanding how and why it is changing both regionally and globally takes one through the sciences of ice sheets, groundwater, the ocean circulation, tectonics, and shifting meteorological patterns. I will attempt a survey of what is known of this problem, and what the future might bring.