7fcde7 square The Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, SOEST
Philip Thompson

Assistant Professor
Director, UH Sea Level Center

Department of Oceanography
University of Hawai`i at Manoa
1000 Pope Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

Phone:(808) 956-6574
Lab: http://uhslc.soest.hawaii.edu
E-mail: philiprt@hawaii.edu


Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D. 2012 – Physical Oceanography, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida
  • B.S. 2004 – Physics, North Carolina State University

Research Interests:

  • Decadal climate variability and its affect on sea level and distribution of heat in the ocean
  • Historical reconstructions of global mean sea level from tide gauges
  • Statistics of water level extremes and wave-induced inundation
  • Sea level forecasting on timescales of weeks to months
  • Product development to facilitate science-based coastal planning and management


Thompson, P. R., M. A. Merrifield, M. J. Widlansky, J. M. Becker, and J. J. Marra (2018), Nuisance flooding in Honolulu, HI during the 21st century, Manuscript in preparation

Thompson, P. R., C. G. Piecuch, M. A. Merrifield (2018), Wind-driven hemispheric asymmetry in Pacific sea level trends, Manuscript in preparation.

Merrifield, M. A. and P. R. Thompson (2018), Interdecadal climate variations in the Pacific: Distinctions between the tropics and extratropics inferred from sea level, Submitted to Geophysical Research Letters.

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 the Spatial Variability of 20th Century Sea Level Rise, In press. Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans.

Natarov, S., M. A. Merrifield, J. M. Becker, and P. R. Thompson (2017), Regional influences on reconstructed global mean sea level, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2016GL071523.

Thompson, P. R., M. A. Merrifield, , E. Leuliette, W. Sweet, D. P. Chambers, B. D. Hamling- ton, S. Jevrejeva, J. J. Marra, G. T. Mitchum, and R. S. Nerem (2017). [Global Ocean] Sea level variability and change in “State of the Climate in 2016”, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/2017BAMSStateoftheClimate.1.

Piecuch, C. G., P. R. Thompson, K. A. Donohue (2016), Air pressure effects on sea level changes during the Twentieth Century, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi:10.1002/2016JC012131.

Han W., G. Meehl, D. Stammer, A. Hu, B. Hamlington, J. Kenigson, H. Palanisamy, P. Thompson (2016), Spatial Patterns of Sea Level Variability Associated With Natural Internal Climate Modes, Surveys in Geophysics, doi:10.1007/s10712-016-9386-y.

Thompson, P. R., B. D. Hamlington, F. W. Landerer (2016), Are long tide gauge records in the wrong place to measure global sea level rise?, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2016GL070552.

Thompson, P. R., C. G. Piecuch, M. A. Merrifield, J. P. McCreary, E. Firing (2016). Forcing of recent decadal variability in the Equatorial and North Indian Ocean, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi:10.1002/2016JC012132.

Hamlington, B. D., P. R. Thompson, W. C. Hammond, G. Blewitt, and R. D. Ray (2016), Assessing the impact of vertical land motion on 20th century global mean sea level estimates, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi:10.1002/2016JC011747.

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, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi:10.1002/2016JC011815.

Hamlington, B. D., P. R. Thompson (2015). Considerations for Estimating the 20th Century Trend in Global Mean Sea Level, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2015GL064177.

Hamlington, B. D., R. R. Leben, K.-Y. Kim, R. S. Nerem, L. P. Atkinson, P. R. Thompson (2015). The Effect of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation on Coastal and Regional Sea Level in the United States, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi:10.1002/2014JC010602.

Thompson, P. R. and G. T. Mitchum (2014). Coherent sea level variability on the North At- lantic western boundary, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi:10.1002/2014JC009999.

Thompson, P. R., M. A. Merrifield, J. R. Wells, and C. M. Chang (2014), Wind-driven coastal sea level variability in the Northeast Pacific, Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00225.1.

Thompson, P. R., and M. A. Merrifield (2014). A unique asymmetry in the pattern of recent sea level change, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2014GL061263.

Thompson, P. R., G. T. Mitchum (2013). Variability of winter storminess in the eastern United States during the 20th century from tide gauges. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12- 00561.1.

Merrifield, M. A., P. R. Thompson, M. Lander (2012). Multidecadal sea level anomalies and trends in the western tropical Pacific. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2012GL052032.