Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-87
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-87

  05 Nov 2020

05 Nov 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Assessment of 21 years of Arctic Ocean Absolute Sea Level Trends (1995–2015)

Carsten Ankjær Ludwigsen, Ole Baltazar Andersen, and Stine Kildegaard Rose Carsten Ankjær Ludwigsen et al.
  • DTU Space, Elektrovej 328, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

Abstract. The Arctic Ocean is at the frontier of the fast changing climate in the northern latitudes. As the first study, we assess the different mass and steric components of the observed sea level trend from both absolute sea level (ASL) from altimetry and tide gauges, without using gravimetric observations from GRACE. This approach permits a longer time series and avoids problems with errors from leakage effects in GRACE-products. ASL is equal to mass-driven sea level added with steric sea level, while tide gauge based sea level are also corrected with novel estimates of vertical land movement. Calculations of the mass component from present-day deglaciation, shows that deglaciation rises Arctic sea level with more than 1 mm y−1, while the steric contribution is between −5 and 15 mm y−1 with large spatial variability, with the halosteric signal dominating the pattern. A dynamic mass contribution is derived from the Estimating Circulation and Climate of the Oceans (ECCO)-model (version 4 release 4), which varies between −1 and 2 mm y−1. The combined mass and steric product agrees (within uncertainty) with ASL-trends observed from altimetry in 99 % of the Arctic, although large uncertainties originate from poor data coverage in the steric data and large variability in the dynamic product. A comparison with ASL trends observed at tide gauges agrees with mass+steric at 11 of 12 tide gauge sites.

Carsten Ankjær Ludwigsen et al.

 
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Carsten Ankjær Ludwigsen et al.

Carsten Ankjær Ludwigsen et al.

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Short summary
Satellite-independent datasets are used to explain the contributions to Arctic sea level change that is observed by satellite altimetry and tide gauges. It utilises comprehensive datasets of ocean temperature and salinity which shows that expansion due to added freshwater is the main contribution to spatial sea level variability. A novel high resolution model of vertical land motion is used to align tide gauges measured relative sea level to absolute sea level as observed by satellites.