Reconstruction of changes in sea level in the Western Tropical Pacific

A team of researchers from LEGOS and LIENSs estimated the change in sea level since 1950 at all points in the Western Tropical Pacific. They found that certain islands in the region had been particularly affected, with a total rise in sea level with respect to their shorelines almost 3 times that of the mean rise of the world's oceans.


Reconstruction of changes in sea level from 1950 to 2010

To estimate the regional variability of sea level in the Western Tropical Pacific prior to the altimetric period (before 1993), the researchers reconstructed changes in sea level from 1950 to 2010 by combining long tidal series of good quality (1950-2010), satellite altimetry data since 1993 and outputs of the ocean general circulation model NEMO (DRAKKAR project) to estimate large oscillations of the ocean caused by natural climate disruptions such as ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation).


Tendances linéaires des variations du niveau marin sur la période 1950-2009 reconstruit par Becker et al (2011) Cliquer pour agrandir


This reconstruction mapped the rate of sea level change over a period three times longer than the altimetric period, which is important because it is recognized that satellite altimetry shows only the interannual variability of sea level and not variability of lower frequency.


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Last updated: 12/12/2012

Further reading about the reconstruction of tide gauge records:

List of programs, projects and reconstructions of tide gauge data