GMSL Updated and Compared to MEI

Edited: 2011-07-29

We recently updated the global mean sea level time series through Jason-2 cycle 102.  In this release, we updated the sea state bias model (SSB) for TOPEX to the CLS Collinear v. 2009 model (Jason-1 and Jason-2 were already updated to this same model in 2011_rel1). Additionally, we replaced the classical inverted barometer correction with the improved AVISO Dynamic Atmopshere Correction (DAC) for all missions. Although the latest Jason-2 GMSL estimates are well below the trend line, the rate increased slightly from 3.1 to 3.2 mm/yr due to the improvements to the TOPEX SSB model and replacement of the classical IB correction with the improved DAC correction.

We also began comparing the GMSL time series to the Multivariate ENSO Index since previous studies have shown that GMSL and ENSO changes are correlated. From the quick comparison, changes in the MEI tend to lead changes in the GMSL. Therefore, as the recent strong La Niña wanes, we expect the recent drop in GMSL to reverse and begin increasing (following the MEI reversal). We will continue investigating this in more detail.