- Cazenave, Anny
- Dieng, Habib-Boubacar
- Meyssignac, Benoit
- von Schuckmann, Karina
- Decharme, Bertrand
- Berthier, Etienne
Present-day sea-level rise is a major indicator of climate change(1). Since the early 1990s, sea level rose at a mean rate of similar to 3.1 mm yr(-1) (refs 2,3). However, over the last decade a slowdown of this rate, of about 30%, has been recorded(4-8). It coincides with a plateau in Earth's mean surface temperature evolution, known as the recent pause in warming(1,9-12). Here we present an analysis based on sea-level data from the altimetry record of the past similar to 20 years that separates interannual natural variability in sea level from the longer-term change probably related to anthropogenic global warming. The most prominent signature in the global mean sea level interannual variability is caused by El Nino-Southern Oscillation, through its impact on the global water cycle(13-16). We find that when correcting for interannual variability, the past decade's slowdown of the global mean sea level disappears, leading to a similar rate of sea-level rise (of 3.3 +/- 0.4mm yr(-1)) during the first and second decade of the altimetry era. Our results confirm the need for quantifying and further removing from the climate records the short-term natural climate variability if one wants to extract the global warming signal(10).
- Environmental Sciences
- Environmental Studies
- Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
[Cazenave, Anny; Dieng, Habib-Boubacar; Meyssignac, Benoit; Berthier, Etienne] Lab Etud Geophys & Oceanog Spatiales, F-31400 Toulouse, France; [von Schuckmann, Karina] Mediterranean Inst Oceanog, F-83957 La Garde, France; [Decharme, Bertrand] Meteo France, Ctr Natl Rech Meteorol, F-31100 Toulouse, France
Cazenave, A (reprint author), Lab Etud Geophys & Oceanog Spatiales, 18 Ave E Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France.
- Institut Méditerranéen d'Océanographie (MIO), UMR7294
- Laboratoire d'études en Géophysique et océanographie spatiales (LEGOS), UMR5566