Comments on “Reconsidering the Relationship Between Gulf Stream
Transport and Dynamic Sea Level at U.S. East Coast” by Chi et al.
Numerous recent studies found significant correlations between weakening
of the Gulf Stream (GS) and rising coastal sea level (CSL) along the
U.S. East Coast. Based on monthly altimeter data and Florida Current
transport, Chi et al. (2023; here, CH23) argued that geostrophic
adjustment of the GS is unlikely to drive variations in CSL in the
Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB). It is argued here that this conclusion cannot
be universally applicable to all cases, since the monthly data disregard
correlations previously found for short time scales based on hourly and
daily data; the impact of GS variability on time scales of decades and
longer as well as potential time lags between the GS and CSL variability
were also not considered by CH23. Examples are given here to demonstrate
the important role of the GS in post hurricane coastal flooding.