Under a warming climate, sea levels around the world have been rising and are projected to continue rising in the future. The projections of future sea level rise are critical for coastal planners and policymakers trying to understand and account for sea-level impacts on their communities. Understanding the science, determining which projections to use, and having access to those projections and underlying data are challenges that stakeholders must tackle.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks. As part of this effort, the IPCC surveys and distills the scientific literature and provides consensus projections on future sea levels across the globe under a range of possible future scenarios. The most recent iteration of the IPCC’s work, the 6th Assessment Report from Working Group I, was released on August 9th, 2021.
The NASA Sea Level Projection Tool allows users to visualize and download the sea level projection data from the IPCC 6th Assessment Report (AR6). The goal of this tool is to provide easy and improved access and visualization to the consensus projections found in the report. The target audience is intended to be broad, allowing a general audience and scientists alike to interact with the information contained in the AR6.
The tool allows users to view both global and regional sea level projections from 2020 to 2150, along with how these projections differ depending on future scenario. Users can click on a point anywhere in the ocean to obtain the IPCC projection of sea level for that individual location. The contributions of different physical processes to future sea-level rise are also provided, indicating which processes will be the dominant drivers of future sea level for a given location. Finally, users can download the sea level projection data from the IPCC 6th AR6 in multiple formats. The projections shown in the tool are consistent with those in the IPCC 6th Assessment Report and information in the tool will be linked directly to the report when available.
Users interested in downloading the complete AR6 projections used in this tool can access the dataset and visualization scripts here.