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Benjamin Hamlington

Photo of Benjamin Hamlington


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109



Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Sea Level And Ice



Dr. Benjamin Hamlington is a Research Scientist in the Sea Level and Ice Group, in the Earth Sciences Section. He studies the ocean with a particular focus on sea level variability on interannual to decadal timescales. He has also done considerable work on understanding sea level during the 20th century, comparing historical in situ data to modern satellite observations. He is interested in how sea level is responds to both natural and anthropogenic forcing, and what this will mean for coastal populations both now and in the future. He is a member of NASA's Ocean Surface Topography Science team, NASA’s GRACE/GRACE-FO Science Team and is the current team lead of the NASA Sea Level Change Science team.


  • 2007-2011 Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • 2006-2007 Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
  • 2002-2007 Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis

Professional Experience

  • 2018-Present Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology
  • 2014-2018 Assistant Professor, Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Department, Old Dominion University
  • 2013-2014 Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO
  • 2011-2013, Research Associate. Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO

Research Interests

  • Global and regional sea-level changes
  • Contemporary sea-level observations from satellites and tide gauges
  • Interannual to decadal climate variability
  • Short-term sea-level fluctuations/coastal flooding
  • Ocean dynamics and heat content
  • Mass exchange between the oceans, cryosphere and land

Selected Awards

  • JPL Lew Allen Award, 2020
  • JPL Voyager Award, 2020
  • NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal, 2019
  • COSPAR Zeldovich Medal, 2018

Selected Publications

Google Scholar

  1. Hamlington, B. D., Frederikse, T., Thompson, P. R., Willis, J. K., Nerem, R. S., & Fasullo, J. T. Past, Present and Future Pacific Sea Level‐Change. Earth's Future, 2020EF001839.
  2. Hamlington, B. D., Gardner, A. S., Ivins, E., Lenaerts, J. T., Reager, J. T., Trossman, D. S., & Willis, M. J. (2020). Understanding of contemporary regional sea‐level change and the implications for the future. Reviews of Geophysics, 58(3), e2019RG000672.
  3. Hamlington, B. D., Piecuch, C. G., Reager, J. T., Chandanpurkar, H., Frederikse, T., Nerem, R. S., & Cheon, S. H. (2020). Origin of interannual variability in global mean sea level. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(25), 13983-13990.
  4. Buzzanga, B., Bekaert, D. P., Hamlington, B. D., & Sangha, S. S. (2020). Toward Sustained Monitoring of Subsidence at the Coast Using InSAR and GPS: An Application in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Geophysical Research Letters, 47(18), e2020GL090013.
  5. Larour, E., Caron, L., Morlighem, M., Adhikari, S., Frederikse, T., Schlegel, N. J., Ivins, E., Hamlington, B., Kopp, R, Nowicki, S. (2020). ISSM-SLPS: geodetically compliant Sea-Level Projection System for the Ice-sheet and Sea-level System Model v4. 17. Geoscientific Model Development, 13(10), 4925-4941.
  6. Hamlington, B. D., Frederikse, T., Nerem, R. S., Fasullo, J. T., & Adhikari, S. (2020), Investigating the Acceleration of Regional Sea‐level Rise During the Satellite Altimeter Era. Geophysical Research Letters, 47(5), e2019GL086528.
  7. Cazenave, A., Hamlington, B.D., Horwath, M., Barletta, V. R., Benveniste, J., Chambers, D., & Meyssignac, B. (2019). Observational requirements for long-term monitoring of the global mean sea level and its components over the altimetry era. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6(SEP).
  8. Piecuch, C. G., Thompson, P. R., Ponte, R. M., Merrifield, M. A., & Hamlington, B. D. (2019). What Caused Recent Shifts in Tropical Pacific Decadal Sea‐Level Trends?. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124(11), 7575-7590.
  9. Hamlington, B. D., Fasullo, J. T., Nerem, R. S., Kim, K. Y., & Landerer, F. W. (2019). Uncovering the Pattern of Forced Sea Level Rise in the Satellite Altimeter Record. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(9), 4844-4853
  10. Hamlington, B. D., Reager, J. T., Chandanpurkar, H., & Kim, K. Y. (2019). Amplitude Modulation of Seasonal Variability in Terrestrial Water Storage. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(8), 4404-4412.
  11. Hamlington, B. D., Cheon, S. H., Piecuch, C. G., Karnauskas, K. B., Thompson, P. R., Kim, K. Y., & Frederikse, T. (2019). The dominant global modes of recent internal sea level variability. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124(4), 2750-2768.
  12. Kim, K. Y., Kim, J. Y., Kim, J., Yeo, S., Na, H., Hamlington, B. D., & Leben, R. R. (2019). Vertical Feedback Mechanism of Winter Arctic Amplification and Sea Ice Loss. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1184.
  13. Burgos, A.G., B.D. Hamlington, P.R. Thompson, R.D. Ray, 2018: Future Nuisance Flooding in Norfolk, VA, from Astronomical Tides and Annual to Decadal Internal Climate Variability, Geophys. Res. Lett., 45(22), 12,432-12,439.
  14. Cheon, S.H., B.D. Hamlington, K.D. Suh, 2018: Reconstruction of sea level around Korean Peninsula using cyclostationary empirical orthogonal functions, Ocean Science, 14(15), 959-970.
  15. Hamlington, B.D., A. Burgos, P.R. Thompson, F.W. Landerer, C.G. Piecuch, S. Adhikari, L. Caron, J.T. Reager, E.R. Ivins, 2018: Observation-Driven Estimation of Spatial Variability of 20th Century Sea Level Rise, Jour. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 123 (3), 2129-2140.
  16. Nerem, R.S., B.D. Beckley, J.T. Fasullo, B.D. Hamlington,, D. Masters, 2018: Climate-change-driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era, PNAS, 201717312.
  17. Carson, M., A. Koehl, D. Stammer, B. Meyssignac, J.A. Church, J. Schroeter, M. Wenzel, B.D. Hamlington, 2017: Regional sea level variability and trends, 1960-2007 – A comparison of sea level reconstructions and ocean syntheses, Jour. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122(11), 9068-9091.
  18. Bekaert, D., B.D. Hamlington, B. Buzzanga, C.E. Jones, 2017: Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar Survey of Subsidence in Hampton Roads Virginia, Scientific Reports, 7(1), 14752.
  19. Nidheesh, A.G., M. Lengaigne, J. Vialard, T. Izumo, A. Unnikrishnan, B. Meyssignac, B.D. Hamlington, C. Montegut, 2017: Robusteness of observationally-derived decadal sea-level variability in the Indo-Pacific region, Geophys. Res. Letter, 44(14), 7391-7400.
  20. Hamlington, B.D. J.T. Reager, M.H. Lo, K. Karnauskas, R.R. Leben, 2017: Separating global water cycle variability from sea level rise, Scientific Reports, 7.
  21. 21. Han, W., G.A. Meehl, D.Stammer, A. Hu, B.D. Hamlington, J. Kenigson, H. Palanisamy, and P.R. Thompson. 2017: Spatial Patterns of Sea Level Variability Associated with Natural Internal Climate Modes. Surveys in Geophysics, 38(1), 217-250.
  22. 22. Mason, S., P.E. Hamlington, B.D. Hamlington, W. Jolly, C. Hoffman, 2017: Effects of Climate Oscillations on Wildland Fire Potential in the Continental United States, Geophys. Rese. Lett., 44, 7002-7010.
  23. 23. Thompson, P. R., B. D. Hamlington, F. W. Landerer, and S. Adhikari 2016: Are long tide gauge records in the wrong place to measure global mean sea level rise?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 10,403–10,411,
  24. 24. Hamlington, B. D., P.R. Thompson, W. C. Hammond, G. Blewitt, and R. D. Ray, 2016: Assessing the impact of vertical land motion on twentieth century global mean sea level estimates, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 121, 4980–4993.
  25. 25. Hamlington, B. D., S. H. Cheon, P. R. Thompson, M. A. Merrifield, R. S. Nerem, R. R. Leben, and K.-Y. Kim, 2016: An ongoing shift in Pacific Ocean sea level, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 121, 5084–5097.
  26. 26. Fasullo, J. T., R. S. Nerem, and B.D. Hamlington. 2016: Is the Detection of Accelerated Sea Level Rise Imminent? Scientific Reports 6 (August): 31245.
  27. 27. Kim, K.-Y., B. D. Hamlington, H. Na, and J. Kim. 2016: Mechanism of Seasonal Arctic Sea Ice Evolution and Arctic Amplification. The Cryosphere 10 (5). Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany: Copernicus GmbH: 2191–2202.
  28. 28. Cheng, Y., T. Ezer, and B.D. Hamlington. 2016: Sea Level Acceleration in the China Seas. WATER 8 (7). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute: 293.
  29. 29. Cheng, Y., B.D. Hamlington, H.P. Plag, and Q. Xu. 2016: Influence of ENSO on the Variation of Annual Sea Level Cycle in the South China Sea. Ocean Engineering 126 (November): 343–52.
  30. 30. Merrifield, M.A., Leuliette, E., Thompson, P., Chambers, D., Hamlington, B.D., Jevrejeva, S., Marra, J.J., Menéndez, M., Mitchum, G.T., Nerem, R.S., Sweet, W.A; Swart, W. 2016: Sea level variability and change [in “State of the Climate in 2015”]. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97 (8 (Supplement)). S80-S82.
  31. 31. Cheng, Y., H.P. Plag, B. D. Hamlington, Qing X., and Y. He. 2015: Regional Sea Level Variability in the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, and East China Sea.” Continental Shelf Research 111, Part A (December): 95–107.
  32. 32. Hamlington, B. D., Leben, R.R., Kim, K.-Y., Nerem, R.S., Atkinson, L.P., Thompson, P.R. 2015: The effect of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation on U.S. regional and coastal sea level, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120, 3970–3986.
  33. 33. Hamlington, B. D., and P. R. Thompson, 2015: Considerations for estimating the 20th century trend in global mean sea level. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 4102–4109.
  34. 34. Hamlington, B. D., R. F. Milliff, H. van Loon, and K.-Y. Kim, 2015: A Southern Hemisphere sea level pressure-based precursor for ENSO warm and cold events, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, 2280–2292,
  35. 35. Hamlington, B. D., P. E. Hamlington, S. G. Collins, S. R. Alexander, and K.-Y. Kim, 2015: Effects of climate oscillations on wind resource variability in the United States, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 145–152.