Based on independent observations, we estimate the sea level budget and linear trends for individual ocean basins and the world ocean during 2004-2007. Even though it is confirmed that the seasonal variation of global sea level is balanced by the different sea level components (total sea level change from satellite altimetry equals to the sum of the steric height contribution obtained by Argo profiles and any variability in ocean mass observed from GRACE), basin-scale sea level budgets show very different characteristics. Sea level budgets over the South Pacific and Antarctic Ocean maintain a good balance both on seasonal to interannual time scales. Meanwhile, only the satellite altimeter data exhibits a large 4-year trend over the South Indian Ocean. This basin significantly impacts the magnitude of the disagreement for the global sea level budget. Large differences among the 3 different gravity fields related to the hydrologic signals in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean could be one of the major causes of the imbalance in the global sea level budget.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science
- Satellite altimetry
- Sea level budget