Seasonal global mean sea level change from satellite altimeter, GRACE, and geophysical models

Edited: 2011-02-21
TitleSeasonal global mean sea level change from satellite altimeter, GRACE, and geophysical models
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsChen, J., C. Wilson, B. Tapley, J. Famiglietti, and M. Rodell
JournalJournal of Geodesy
Date Published12/2005
Keywordsclimate, grace, sea_level, terrestrial_water
AbstractWe estimate seasonal global mean sea level changes using different data resources, including sea level anomalies from satellite radar altimetry, ocean temperature and salinity from the World Ocean Atlas 2001, time-variable gravity observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, and terrestrial water storage and atmospheric water vapor changes from the NASA global land data assimilation system and National Centers for Environmental Prediction reanalysis atmospheric model. The results from all estimates are consistent in amplitude and phase at the annual period, in some cases with remarkably good agreement. The results provide a good measure of average annual variation of water stored within atmospheric, land, and ocean reservoirs. We examine how varied treatments of degree-2 and degree-1 spherical harmonics from GRACE, laser ranging, and Earth rotation variations affect GRACE mean sea level change estimates. We also show that correcting the standard equilibrium ocean pole tide correction for mass conservation is needed when using satellite altimeter data in global mean sea level studies. These encouraging results indicate that is reasonable to consider estimating longer-term time series of water storage in these reservoirs, as a way of tracking climate change.