Basin scale sea level variability in the North Atlantic

Regional sea level changes and variability of the North Atlantic are studied with focus on its steric and mass related components in the period 2002 to 2015. The data bases are: monthly gridded sea levels from the Jason-1/Jason-2 satellite altimeters processed by the ADS system as well as gridded steric sea levels from Argo floats (MetOffice Hadley Centre for Climate Change) and mass related sea level from the GRACE mission (GFZ RL05a, CSR RL05). The spatial scales investigated are greater than 500 km.

The monthly sea level is in good agreement with the measured steric and mass contributions in the North Atlantic. The Tropical North Atlantic has gained mass since 2009 at a rate equivalent to a sea level rise of ~4 mm/year. The dominant mode of sea level variability is of steric origin and seems to be related to the strength of the subtropical gyre.  

Poster at Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting at Konstanz in October 2014.  

Main modes of sea level anomaly (total and steric)