The 2011 La Niña: So strong, the oceans fell
Article first published online: 4 OCT 2012
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 39, Issue 19, 16 October 2012
How to Cite
2012), The 2011 La Niña: So strong, the oceans fell, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L19602, doi:10.1029/2012GL053055., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 4 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 4 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 20 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 20 JUL 2012
- la nina;
- sea level
 Global mean sea level (GMSL) dropped by 5 mm between the beginning of 2010 and mid 2011. This drop occurred despite the background rate of rise, 3 mm per year, which dominates most of the 18-year record observed by satellite altimeters. Using a combination of satellite andin situdata, we show that the decline in ocean mass, which explains the sea level drop, coincides with an equivalent increase in terrestrial water storage, primarily over Australia, northern South America, and Southeast Asia. This temporary shift of water from the ocean to land is closely related to the transition from El Niño conditions in 2009/10 to a strong 2010/11 La Niña, which affected precipitation patterns world-wide.