Ocean Sci. Discuss., 6, 31-56, 2009
www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/6/31/2009/
doi:10.5194/osd-6-31-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in OS.
A new assessment of global mean sea level from altimeters highlights a reduction of global trend from 2005 to 2008
M. Ablain1, A. Cazenave2, G. Valladeau1, and S. Guinehut1
1CLS, Ramonville Saint-Agne, France
2LEGOS, OMP, Toulouse, France

Abstract. A new error budget assessment of the global Mean Sea Level (MSL) determined by TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 altimeter satellites between January 1993 and June 2008 is presented. We discuss all potential errors affecting the calculation of the global MSL rate. We also compare altimetry-based sea level with tide gauge measurements over the altimetric period. This allows us to provide a realistic error budget of the MSL rise measured by satellite altimetry. These new calculations highlight a reduction in the rate of sea level rise since 2005, by ~2 mm/yr. This represents a 60% reduction compared to the 3.3 mm/yr sea level rise (glacial isostatic adjustment correction applied) measured between 1993 and 2005. Since November 2005, MSL is accurately measured by a single satellite, Jason-1. However the error analysis performed here indicates that the recent reduction in MSL rate is real.

Citation: Ablain, M., Cazenave, A., Valladeau, G., and Guinehut, S.: A new assessment of global mean sea level from altimeters highlights a reduction of global trend from 2005 to 2008, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 6, 31-56, doi:10.5194/osd-6-31-2009, 2009.
 
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