Recent Arctic sea level variations from satellites

Article English OPEN
Ole Baltazar Andersen ; Gaia ePiccioni (2016)
  • Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
  • Journal: Frontiers in Marine Science, volume 3 (issn: 2296-7745)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00076, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00076/full
  • Subject: Arctic Ocean | Q | Marine Science | QH1-199.5 | General. Including nature conservation, geographical distribution | Arctic | satellite altimetry | Science | Sea level budget | Sea level | Satellite altmetry

Sea level monitoring in the Arctic region has always been an extreme challenge for remote sensing, and in particular for satellite altimetry. Despite more than two decades of observations, altimetry is still limited in the inner Arctic Ocean. We have developed an updated version of the Danish Technical University's (DTU) Arctic Ocean altimetric sea level timeseries starting in 1993 and now extended up to 2015 with CryoSat-2 data. The time-series covers a total of 23 years, which allows higher accuracy in sea level trend determination. The record shows a sea level trend of 2.2 ± 1.1 mm/y for the region between 66°N and 82°N. In particular, a local increase of 15 mm/y is found in correspondence to the Beaufort Gyre. An early estimate of the mean sea level trend budget closure in the Arctic for the period 2005–2015 was derived by using the Equivalent Water Heights obtained from GRACE Tellus Mascons data and the steric sea level from the NOAA Global Ocean Heat and Salt Content dataset. In this first attempt, we computed the budget based on seasonally averaged values, obtaining the closure with a difference of 0.4 mm/y. This closure is clearly inside the uncertainties of the various components in the sea level trend budget.
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