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Detecting a forced signal in satellite-era sea-level change
Richter, K.; Meyssignac, B.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Melet, A.; Church, J.A.; Fettweis, X.; Marzeion, B.; Agosta, C.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Spada, G.; Palmer, M.D.; Roberts, C.D.; Champollion, N. (2020). Detecting a forced signal in satellite-era sea-level change. Environ. Res. Lett. 15(9): 094079. https://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab986e
In: Environmental Research Letters. IOP Publishing: Bristol. ISSN 1748-9326; e-ISSN 1748-9326, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

Author keywords
    forced trends; internal variability; detection; sea-level rise

Auteurs  Top 
  • Richter, K.
  • Meyssignac, B.
  • Slangen, A.B.A., meer
  • Melet, A.
  • Church, J.A.
  • Fettweis, X.
  • Marzeion, B.
  • Agosta, C.
  • Ligtenberg, S.R.M.
  • Spada, G.
  • Palmer, M.D.
  • Roberts, C.D.
  • Champollion, N.

Abstract
    In this study, we compare the spatial patterns of simulated geocentric sea-level change to observations from satellite altimetry over the period 1993–2015 to assess whether a forced signal is detectable. This is challenging, as on these time scales internal variability plays an important role and may dominate the observed spatial patterns of regional sea-level change. Model simulations of regional sea-level change associated with sterodynamic sea level, atmospheric loading, glacier mass change, and ice-sheet surface mass balance changes are combined with observations of groundwater depletion, reservoir storage, and dynamic ice-sheet mass changes. The resulting total geocentric regional sea-level change is then compared to independent measurements from satellite altimeter observations. The detectability of the climate-forced signal is assessed by comparing the model ensemble mean of the 'historical' simulations with the characteristics of sea-level variability in pre-industrial control simulations. To further minimize the impact of internal variability, zonal averages were produced. We find that, in all ocean basins, zonally averaged simulated sea-level changes are consistent with observations within sampling uncertainties associated with simulated internal variability of the sterodynamic component. Furthermore, the simulated zonally averaged sea-level change cannot be explained by internal variability alone—thus we conclude that the observations include a forced contribution that is detectable at basin scales.

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