Geophysical Research Letters

Thermosteric sea level rise, 1955–2003

Authors


Abstract

[1] For the 1955–2003 period, the thermal expansion of the 0–700 m layer of the World Ocean contributed approximately 0.33 mm/year to global sea level rise. About half of this thermosteric trend is due to warming of the Atlantic Ocean. Approximately one third of the total thermosteric rise is due to the warming of the Pacific Ocean. For the period of available TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) satellite altimetry data (1993–2003), the linear trend of thermosteric sea level (0–700 m) is 1.23 mm/year, 60% of which is due to the trends in the Pacific Ocean. For the 0–3000 m layer of the entire World Ocean, the linear trend of thermosteric sea level is 0.40 mm/year for 1955–1959 through 1994–1998. For the 50°S–65°N region that we previously reported (Antonov et al., 2002) which was characterized by a 0.50 mm/year trend for 1955–1959 through 1992–1996, our new estimate is 0.47 mm/year for this same period.

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