Coastal and global sea level change

Both coastal and global mean sea level rise by about 3.0 \textpm 0.5 mm/year from January 1993 to December 2004. Over shorter intervals the coastal sea level rises faster and over longer intervals slowly than the global mean, which trend is almost constant for each interval and is equal to 2.9 \textpm 0.5 mm/year in 1993\textendash2008. The different trends are due to the higher interannual variability of coastal sea level, caused by the sea level regional variability, that is further averaged out when computing the global mean. Coastal sea level rise is well represented by a selected set of 267 stations of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level and by the corresponding co-located altimeter points. Its departure from coastal sea level computed from satellite altimetry in a 150 km distance from coast, dominated by a large rise in the Eastern Pacific, is due to the regional interannual variability. Regionally the trends of the coastal and open-ocean sea level variability are in good agreement and the main world basins have a positive averaged trend. The interannual variability is highly correlated with the El Nino Southern Oscillation (SO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) climatic indices over both the altimeter period and the interval 1950\textendash2001. Being the signal of large scale a small number of stations with good spatial coverage is needed. The reconstruction of the interannual variability using the spatial pattern from altimetry and the temporal patterns from tide gauges correlated to NAO and SOI restitutes about 50\% of the observed interannual variability over 1993\textendash2001.
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Journal of Geodynamics
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