Feb 12, 2016

A decade of sea level rise slowed by climate-driven hydrology

J. T. Reager, A. S. Gardner, J. S. Famiglietti, D. N. Wiese, A. Eicker, M.-H. Lo
  • States that observational challenges have prevented the inclusion of land water storage and its contributions to sea level rise in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sea level budgets
  • Finds that advances in satellite measurement of time-variable gravity combined with reconciled global glacier loss estimates enable a disaggregation of continental land mass changes and a quantification of this term
  • Finds that between 2002 and 2014, climate variability resulted in an additional 3200 ± 900 gigatons of water being stored on land
  • Finds that the gain partially offset water losses from ice sheets, glaciers, and groundwater pumping, slowing the rate of sea level rise by 0.71 ± 0.20 millimeters per year
  • Results highlight the importance of climate-driven changes in hydrology when assigning attribution to decadal changes in sea level