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Global sea-level budget 1993-present


Cazenave, A and Meyssignac, B and Ablain, M and Balmaseda, M and Bamber, J and Barletta, V and Beckley, B and Benveniste, J and Berthier, E and Blazquez, A and Boyer, T and Caceres, D and Chambers, D and Champollion, N and Chao, B and Chen, J and Cheng, L and Church, JA and Chuter, S and Cogley, JG and Dangendorf, S and DesbruyA res, D and DA ll, P and Domingues, C and Falk, U and Famiglietti, J and Fenoglio-Marc, L and Forsberg, R and Galassi, G and Gardner, A and Groh, A and Hamlington, B and Hogg, A and Horwath, M and Humphrey, V and Husson, L and Ishii, M and Jaeggi, A and Jevrejeva, S and Johnson, G and Kolodziejczyk, N and Kusche, J and Lambeck, K and Landerer, F and Leclercq, P and Legresy, B and Leuliette, E and Llovel, W and Longuevergne, W and Loomis, BD and Luthcke, SB and Marcos, M and Marzeion, B and Merchant, C and Merrifield, M and Milne, G and Mitchum, G and Mohajerani, Y and Monier, M and Monselesan, D and Nerem, S and Palanisamy, H and Paul, F and Perez, B and Piecuch, CG and Ponte, RM and Purkey, SG and Reager, JT and Rietbroek, R and Rignot, E and Riva, R and Roemmich, DH and SA rensen, LS and Sasgen, I and Schrama, EJO and Seneviratne, SI and Shum, CK and Spada, G and Stammer, D and van de Wal, R and Velicogna, I and Schuckmann, Kv and Wada, Y and Wang, Y and Watson, C and Wiese, D and Wijffels, S and Westaway, R and Woppelmann, G and Wouters, B, WCRP Global Sea Level Budget Grp, Global sea-level budget 1993-present, Earth System Science Data, 10, (3) pp. 1551-1590. ISSN 1866-3508 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (

DOI: doi:10.5194/essd-10-1551-2018


Global mean sea level is an integral of changes occurring in the climate system in response to unforced climate variability as well as natural and anthropogenic forcing factors. Its temporal evolution allows changes (e.g.,acceleration) to be detected in one or more components. Study of the sea-level budget provides constraints on missing or poorly known contributions, such as the unsurveyed deep ocean or the still uncertain land water component. In the context of the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge entitled "Regional Sea Level and Coastal Impacts", an international effort involving the sea-level community worldwide has been recently initiated with the objective of assessing the various datasets used to estimate components of the sea-level budget during the altimetry era (1993 to present). These datasets are based on the combination of a broad range of space-based and in situ observations, model estimates, and algorithms. Evaluating their quality, quantifying uncertainties and identifying sources of discrepancies between component estimates is extremely useful for various applications in climate research. This effort involves several tens of scientists from about 50 research teams/institutions worldwide (, last access: 22 August 2018). The results presented in this paper are a synthesis of the first assessment performed during 2017-2018. We present estimates of the altimetry-based global mean sea level (average rate of 3.1 +/- 0.3mm yr(-1) and acceleration of 0.1 mm yr(-2) over 1993-present), as well as of the different components of the sea-level budget (, last access: 22 August 2018). We further examine closure of the sea-level budget, comparing the observed global mean sea level with the sum of components. Ocean thermal expansion, glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica contribute 42%, 21%, 15% and 8% to the global mean sea level over the 1993-present period. We also study the sea-level budget over 2005-present, using GRACE-based ocean mass estimates instead of the sum of individual mass components. Our results demonstrate that the global mean sea level can be closed to within 0.3 mm yr(-1) (1 sigma). Substantial uncertainty remains for the land water storage component, as shown when examining individual mass contributions to sea level.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Marine geoscience
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine systems and management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Watson, C (Dr Christopher Watson)
ID Code:152444
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:272
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-08-19
Last Modified:2022-09-30
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