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Improved Sea Level Record Over the Satellite Altimetry Era (1993–2010) from the Climate Change Initiative Project : Volume 11, Issue 4 (21/08/2014)

By Ablain, M.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004020800
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 43
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Improved Sea Level Record Over the Satellite Altimetry Era (1993–2010) from the Climate Change Initiative Project : Volume 11, Issue 4 (21/08/2014)  
Author: Ablain, M.
Volume: Vol. 11, Issue 4
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Picot, M., Meyssignac, B., Balmaseda, M., Cazenave, A., Rudenko, S., Andersen, O.,...Scharffenberg, M. G. (2014). Improved Sea Level Record Over the Satellite Altimetry Era (1993–2010) from the Climate Change Initiative Project : Volume 11, Issue 4 (21/08/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Collecte Localisation Satellite(CLS), Ramoville Saint-Agne, France. Sea level is one of the 50 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) listed by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) in climate change monitoring. In the last two decades, sea level has been routinely measured from space using satellite altimetry techniques. In order to address a number of important scientific questions such as: Is sea level rise accelerating?, Can we close the sea level budget?, What are the causes of the regional and interannual variability?, Can we already detect the anthropogenic forcing signature and separate it from the internal/natural climate variability?, and What are the coastal impacts of sea level rise?, the accuracy of altimetry-based sea level records at global and regional scales needs to be significantly improved. For example, the global mean and regional sea level trend uncertainty should become better than 0.3 and 0.5 mm year−1, respectively (currently of 0.6 and 1–2 mm year−1). Similarly, interannual global mean sea level variations (currently uncertain to 2–3 mm) need to be monitored with better accuracy. In this paper, we present various respective data improvements achieved within the European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (ESA CCI) project on Sea Level during its first phase (2010–2013), using multi-mission satellite altimetry data over the 1993–2010 time span. In a first step, using a new processing system with dedicated algorithms and adapted data processing strategies, an improved set of sea level products has been produced. The main improvements include: reduction of orbit errors and wet/dry atmospheric correction errors, reduction of instrumental drifts and bias, inter-calibration biases, intercalibration between missions and combination of the different sea level data sets, and an improvement of the reference mean sea surface. We also present preliminary independent validations of the SL_cci products, based on tide gauges comparison and sea level budget closure approach, as well as comparisons with ocean re-analyses and climate model outputs.

Improved sea level record over the satellite altimetry era (1993–2010) from the Climate Change Initiative Project

Ablain, M., Cazenave, A., Valladeau, G., and Guinehut, S.: A new assessment of the error budget of global mean sea level rate estimated by satellite altimetry over 1993–2008, Ocean Sci., 5, 193–201, doi:10.5194/os-5-193-2009, 2009.; Ablain, M., Philipps, S., Urvoy, M., Tran, N., and Picot, N.: Detection of long-term instabilities on altimeter backscattering coefficient thanks to wind speed data comparisons from altimeters and models, Mar. Geod., 35, 42–60, doi:10.1080/01490419.2012.718675, 2012.; Ablain, M., Ollivier, A., Philipps, S., and Picot, N.: Why Altimetry Errors at Climate Scales Are Larger in the First Decade (1993–2002)?, OSTST Boulders, October 2013, available at: (last access: 20 June 2014), 2013.; Altamimi, Z., Collilieux, X., and Métivier, L.: ITRF2008: an improved solution of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, J. Geodesy, 85, 457–473, doi:10.1007/s00190-011-0444-4, 2011.; Andersen, O. B.: The DTU10 Gravity field and Mean sea surface (2010), Second International Symposium of the Gravity Field of the Earth (IGFS2), 20–22 September 2010, Fairbanks, Alaska, available at: /media/Institutter/Space/English/scientific_data_and_models/global_marine_gravity_field/dtu10.ashx (last access: 20 June 2014), 2010.; Balmaseda, M., Mogensen, K., and Weaver, A. T.: Evaluation of the ECMWF ocean reanalysis system ORAS4, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 139, 1132–1161, doi:10.1002/qj.2063, 2013.; Balmaseda, M. A., Hernandez, F., Storto, A., Palmer, M. D., Alves, O., Shi, L., Smith, G. C., Toyoda, T., Valdivieso, M., Barnier, B., Behringer, D., Boyer, T., Chang, Y-S., Chepurin, G. A., Ferry, N., Forget, G., Fujii, Y., Good, S., Guinehut, S., Haines, K., Ishikawa Y., Keeley, S., Köhl, A., Lee, T., Martin, M., Masina, S., Masuda, S., Meyssignac, B., Mogensen, K., Parent, L., Peterson, K. A., Tang, Y. M., Yin, Y., Vernieres, G., Wang, X., Waters, J., Wedd, R., Wang, O., Xue, Y., Chevallier, M., Lemieux, J.-F., Dupont, F., Kuragano, T., Kamachi, M., Awaji, T., Caltabiano, A., Wilmer-Becker, K., and Gaillard, F.: The Ocean Reanalyses Intercomparison Project (ORA-IP), Journal of Operational Oceanography, submitted, 2014.; Brown, S., Desai, S., Keihm, S., and Lu, W.: Microwave radiometer calibration on decadal time scales using on-earth brightness temperature references: application to the TOPEX Microwave radiometer, J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 26, 2579–2591, 2009.; Carrere, L., Faugère Y., and Ablain, M.: Improvement of pressure derived corrections for altimetry using the ERA-Interim dataset, Ocean Sci., in preparation, 2014.; Chambers, D. P. and Bonin, J. A.: Evaluation of Release-05 GRACE time-variable gravity coefficients over the ocean, Ocean Sci., 8, 859–868, doi:10.5194/os-8-859-2012, 2012.; Couhert, A., Cerri, L., Legeais, J. F., Ablain, M., Zelensky, N. P., Haines, B. J., Lemoine, F. G., Bertiger, W. I., Desai, S. D., and Otten, M.: Towards the 1 mm/y stability of the radial orbit error at regional scales, Adv. Space Res., online first, doi:10.1016/j.asr.2014.06.041, 2014.; Dee, D. P., Uppala, S. M., Simmons, A. J., Berrisford, P., Poli, P., Kobayashi, S., Andrae, U., Balmaseda, M. A., Balsamo, G., Bauer, P., Bechtold


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