Chapter 8. Terrestrial Water-Storage Contributions to Sea-Level Rise and Variability

  1. John A. Church oceanographer10,
  2. Philip L. Woodworth former Director Chairman11,
  3. Thorkild Aarup PhD Senior Program Specialist technical secretary12 and
  4. W. Stanley Wilson Senior Scientist13
  1. P. C. D. (Chris) Milly1,
  2. Anny Cazenave2,
  3. James S. Famiglietti3,
  4. Vivien Gornitz4,
  5. Katia Laval5,
  6. Dennis P. Lettenmaier6,
  7. Dork L. Sahagian7,
  8. John M. Wahr8 and
  9. Clark R. Wilson9

Published Online: 5 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444323276.ch8

Understanding Sea-Level Rise and Variability

Understanding Sea-Level Rise and Variability

How to Cite

Milly, P. C. D., Cazenave, A., Famiglietti, J. S., Gornitz, V., Laval, K., Lettenmaier, D. P., Sahagian, D. L., Wahr, J. M. and Wilson, C. R. (2010) Terrestrial Water-Storage Contributions to Sea-Level Rise and Variability, in Understanding Sea-Level Rise and Variability (eds J. A. Church, P. L. Woodworth, T. Aarup and W. S. Wilson), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444323276.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 10

    Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Australia

  2. 11

    Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Liverpool, UK

  3. 12

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Unesco, Paris, France

  4. 13

    NOAA Satellite & Information Service, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    US Geological Survey, Princeton, NJ, USA

  2. 2

    Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie, Toulouse, France

  3. 3

    University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

  4. 4

    NASA/GISS and Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

  5. 5

    Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Paris, France

  6. 6

    University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

  7. 7

    Environmental Initiative, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA

  8. 8

    University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

  9. 9

    University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 JUL 2010
  2. Published Print: 20 AUG 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334517

Online ISBN: 9781444323276



  • terrestrial water-storage contributions - to sea-level rise and variability;
  • gain or loss of water by continents - equal loss or gain of water by oceans;
  • sea level, measured by satellite altimetry - TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and Jason-2 missions;
  • terrestrial water storage and change in - climate variations and human activities;
  • in situ gauging networks, time series of river water levels and discharge;
  • GRACE space gravity data - mass changes yielding measurements of spatiotemporal variations of gravity field;
  • climate-driven changes of terrestrial water storage;
  • terrestrial water storage and direct anthropogenic changes;
  • urbanization, and strong impact on water balance;
  • SWOT, Surface Water Ocean Topography and HYDROS/soil moisture and ocean salinity


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Analysis Tools

  • Climate-Driven Changes of Terrestrial Water Storage

  • Direct Anthropogenic Changes of Terrestrial Water Storage

  • Synthesis

  • Recommendations

  • References