A new study assesses the reliability of our knowledge of sea-level change and its contributors, using global time-series developed via ESA's Climate Change Initiative.

The research, led by the Dresden University of Technology and published Earth System Science Data, shows how the sum of sea-level contributions assessed on a month-to-month basis matches the total sea-level change observed by satellites.

ESA’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) generates high-quality and continuous space-based records of Essential Climate Variables, including a number of variables related to sea level. The CCI Sea Level Budget Closure Project, which involves a consortium of ten European research institutes, has assessed these records, advanced and extended the analysis of data from satellites as well as from oceanographic measurements and numerical modelling.

The global contributors of sea level rise, adapted from Horwath et al. (2022) https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-14-411-2022

The results are in line with previous studies, but they gain additional confidence through the advancements of the data analysis involved. These advancements include the consistent approach to specifying the accuracy limits throughout all elements of the sea-level budget.

The results contributed to the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC. The new paper provides the full set of time series and supporting documentation.

The full story can be read on esa.int

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  • Horwath, M. et al. (2022). Global sea-level budget and ocean-mass budget, with a focus on advanced data products and uncertainty characterisation. Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 411–447. https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-14-411-2022