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Or might the route have been some combination of the two, starting in the north, then weaving south and north again? The southern route was advocated in the ss by Sir Gavin de Beer, director of the British Museum natural history , who published no fewer than five books on the subject. For Mahaney, it began as a hobby and become a labour of love. He went looking for clues in the landscapes.

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Both Polybius and Livy mention that the impasse faced by Hannibal was created by fallen rocks. In Mahaney found from field trips and aerial and satellite photography that, of the various passes along the proposed routes, only the Col de Traversette had enough large rockfalls above the snowline to account for such an obstruction.

He suspects Hannibal did not intend to come this way, but was forced to avoid the lower cols to the north because of the hordes of Gauls massing there. The rockfall evidence was pretty suggestive. But could Mahaney and his team of geologists and biologists find anything more definitive? The researchers rolled up their sleeves and dug into the mire.

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What they found was mud. And more mud. Not very informative, you might think. But mud can encode secrets. Taking an army of tens of thousands, with horses and elephants, over the Alps would have left one heck of a mess. More than two millennia later, Mahaney might have found it. The peaty material is mostly matted with decomposed plant fibres. But at a depth of about 40cm this carbon-based material becomes much more disturbed and compacted, being mixed up with finer-grained soil.

This structure suggests that the bog became churned up when the layer was formed. The researchers then took samples of this disturbed mud back to the lab, where they used chemical techniques to identify some of its organic molecules. These included substances found in horse dung and the faeces of ruminants.

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For these reasons, it is difficult to assess the closure of the GMSL rise budget over — and — Church et al. This result indicates a slightly smaller contribution from glaciers than reported by AR5. This result suggests that the contribution of Antarctica ice sheet dynamics to SLR has been small, if any, before the s. Since AR5, extended simulations along with recent findings in observations and improved model estimates allow for a new more robust, consistent and comprehensive comparison between sea level estimates based on observations and climate model simulations e.

Compared to AR5, the simulated thermal expansion from climate models has improved with a new correction for the volcanic activity see Section 4. The glacier contribution from glacier models forced with inputs from climate models is updated with a new glacier inventory and improvements to the glacier mass balance model Marzeion et al.

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For all these periods the residual is consistent within uncertainty with the sum of the contribution from land water storage and ice discharge from Greenland and Antarctica. For each period the consistency is improved compared to AR5 see Table 4. The gap can be explained by a bias in the simulated Greenland SMB and glacier ice loss around Greenland in the early 20th century Slangen et al.

When the glacier model and the Greenland SMB downscaling technique are forced with observed climate from atmospheric reanalyses, rather than the simulated climate from coupled climate models, simulated SLR becomes consistent with the observed SLR see the dashed blue line on Figure 4. This increase in air temperature over — is not reproduced by climate models Slangen et al.

It may be because this increase in air temperature was due to internal climate variability on temporal and spatial scales that cannot be precisely reproduced by climate models. It may also be due to a bias in atmospheric circulation in climate models Fettweis et al. In summary, the agreement between climate model simulations and observations of the global thermal expansion, glacier mass loss and Greenland SMB has improved compared to AR5 for periods starting after However, for periods prior to , significant discrepancies between climate models and observations arise from the inability of climate models to reproduce some observed regional changes in glacier and GIS SMB around the southern tip of Greenland.

It is not clear whether this bias in climate models is due to the internal variability of the climate system or deficiencies in climate models. For this reason, there is still medium confidence in the ability of climate models to simulate past and future changes in glaciers mass loss and Greenland SMB.

The average of the 12 model estimates corrected for the bias in glaciers mass loss and Greenland surface mass balance SMB over — see Section 4. The satellite altimetry observations from Legeais et al. All curves in a represent anomalies in sea level with respect to the period — i. Vertical lines indicate the occurrence of major volcanic eruptions, which cause temporary drops in GMSL. Updated from Slangen et al. Sea level does not rise uniformly.

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Observations from tide gauges and satellite altimetry Figure 4. These regional changes are essentially due to changing winds, air-sea heat and freshwater fluxes, atmospheric pressure loading and the addition of melting ice into the ocean, which alters the ocean circulation Stammer et al. The addition of water into the ocean also change the geoid, alter the rotation of the Earth and deform the ocean floor which in turn change sea level e. Sea level is rising in all ocean basins virtually certain ; Legeais et al. Part of this regional sea level rise is due to global sea level rise of which a majority is attributable to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions high confidence ; Slangen et al.

The remaining part of the regional sea-level rise in ocean basins is a combination of the response to anthropogenic GHG emissions and internal variability e. In the open ocean, the spatial variability and trends in sea level observed during the recent altimetry era or reconstructed over the previous decades are dominated by the thermal expansion of the ocean.

At local scale, salinity changes can also generate sizeable changes in the ocean density similar to thermal expansion and lead to significant variability in sea level Forget and Ponte, ; Meyssignac et al. On global average, the heat and freshwater fluxes from the atmosphere into the ocean are responsible for the total heat that enters the ocean and for the associated GMSL rise.

At regional scale and local scale, both the ocean transport divergences caused by wind stress anomalies and the spatial variability in atmospheric heat fluxes are responsible for the spatial variability in thermal expansion and thus for most of the regional sea level departures around the GMSL rise e. Several studies suggested that in addition to the PDO signal, warming of the tropical Indian and Atlantic Oceans enhanced surface easterly trade winds and thus also contributes to the intensified SLR in the western tropical Pacific England et al.

Over the Atlantic, the regional sea level variability at interannual to multi-decadal time scales, is generated by surface wind anomalies and heat fluxes associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation NAO; Han et al.


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In the southern ocean, the zonal asymmetry in westerly winds associated to the SAM, generates convergent and divergent transport in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current which may have contributed to the regional asymmetry of decadal sea level variations during most of the twentieth century Thompson and Mitchum, As for GMSL, net regional sea level changes can be estimated from a combination of the various contributions to sea level change.

The contributions from dynamic sea level, atmospheric loading, glacier mass changes and ice sheet SMB can be derived from CMIP5 climate model outputs either directly or through downscaling techniques Perrette et al. The contributions from groundwater depletion, reservoir storage and dynamic ice sheet mass changes are not simulated by coupled climate models over the 20th century and have to be estimated from observations. The sum of all contributions, including the GIA contribution, provides a modelled estimate of the 20th century net regional sea level changes that can be compared with observations from satellite altimetry and tide-gauge records see Figure 4.

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In terms of interannual to multi-decadal variability, there is a general agreement between the simulated regional sea level and tide gauge records, over the period — see inset figures in Figure 4. The relatively large, short-term oscillations in observed sea level black lines in insets in Figure 4. But, as for GMSL, climate models tend to systematically underestimate the observed sea level trends from tide gauge records, particularly in the first half of the 20th century.

This underestimation is explained by a bias identified in modelled Greenland SMB, and glacier ice loss around Greenland in the early 20th century see Section 4. The correction of this bias improves the agreement between the spatial variability in sea level trends from observations and from climate models see Figure 4. Climate models indicate that the spatial variability in sea level trends observed by tide-gauge records over the 20th century is dominated by the GIA contribution and the thermal expansion contribution over — Locally all contributions to sea level changes are important as any contribution can cause significant local deviations.

Around India for example, groundwater depletion is responsible for the low 20th century SLR because the removal of groundwater mass generated a local decrease in geoid that made local SLR slower; Meyssignac et al. These results show the ability of models to reproduce the major 20th century regional sea level changes due to GIA, thermal expansion, glacier mass loss and ice sheet SMB. This is tangible progress since AR5. But some doubts remain regarding the ability of climate models to reproduce local variations such as the glaciers and the Greenland SMB contributions to sea level in the region around the southern tip of Greenland Slangen et al.

Because of these doubts there is still medium confidence in climate models to project future regional sea level changes associated with thermal expansion, glacier mass loss and ice sheet SMB. Coupled climate models have not simulated the other contributions to 20th century sea level, including the growing ice sheet dynamical contribution and land water storage changes. In the upper left corner: map of changes in simulated relative sea level RSL for the period — to — estimated from climate model outputs.

Insets: Observed RSL changes black lines from selected tide gauge stations for the period — For comparison, the estimate of the simulated RSL change at the tide gauge station is also shown blue plain line for the model estimates and blue dashed line for the model estimates corrected for the bias in glaciers mass loss and Greenland surface mass balance SMB over —, see Section 4. The relatively large, short-term oscillations in observed local sea level black lines are due to the natural internal climate variability.