Balancing regional sea level budgets

Eric Leuliette (NOAA, United States)


Laury Miller (NOAA, USA)

Event: 2015 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Science I: Mean sea level monitoring: how to reconcile altimetry, tide gauges, land motion and other in situ observations?

Presentation type: Type Oral

Balancing the sea-level budget is critical to understanding recent and future climate change as well as balancing Earth's energy budget and water budget. During the last decade, advancements in the ocean observing system — satellite altimeters, hydrographic profiling floats, and space-based gravity missions — have allowed the global mean sea level budget to
be assessed with unprecedented accuracy from direct, rather than inferred, estimates. In particular, several recent studies have used the sea-level budget to bound the rate of deep ocean warming [e.g. Llovel et al. 2014].

On a monthly basis, the sum of the steric component estimated from Argo and the ocean mass (barostatic) component from GRACE agree total sea level from Jason within the estimated uncertainties with the residual difference having an r.m.s. of less than 2 mm [Leuliette 2014]. Direct measurements of ocean warming above 2000 m depth during January 2005 and July 2015 explain about one-third of the observed annual rate of global mean sea-level rise.

Extending the understanding of the sea-level budget from global mean sea level to regional patterns of sea level change is crucial for identifying regional differences in recent sea level change. The local sea-level budget can be used to identify any systematic errors in the global ocean observing system. Using the residuals from closing the sea level budget, we demonstrate that systematic regional errors remain, in part due to Argo sampling. We also show the effect of applying revised geocentric pole-tide corrections for GRACE [Wahr et al. 2015] and altimetry [Desai et al., 2015].

Oral presentation show times:

RoomStart DateEnd Date
Grand Ballroom 2 Tue, Oct 20 2015,15:00 Tue, Oct 20 2015,15:15
Eric Leuliette
United States