Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 251–275 | Cite as

Arctic Sea Level During the Satellite Altimetry Era

  • A. Carret
  • J. A. Johannessen
  • O. B. Andersen
  • M. Ablain
  • P. Prandi
  • A. Blazquez
  • A. Cazenave


Results of the sea-level budget in the high latitudes (up to 80°N) and the Arctic Ocean during the satellite altimetry era. We investigate the closure of the sea-level budget since 2002 using two altimetry sea-level datasets based on the Envisat waveform retracking: temperature and salinity data from the ORAP5 reanalysis, and Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) space gravimetry data to estimate the steric and mass components. Regional sea-level trends seen in the altimetry map, in particular over the Beaufort Gyre and along the eastern coast of Greenland, are of halosteric origin. However, in terms of regional average over the region ranging from 66°N to 80°N, the steric component contributes little to the observed sea-level trend, suggesting a dominant mass contribution in the Arctic region. This is confirmed by GRACE-based ocean mass time series that agree well with the altimetry-based sea-level time series. Direct estimate of the mass component is not possible prior to GRACE. Thus, we estimated the mass contribution from the difference between the altimetry-based sea level and the steric component. We also investigate the coastal sea level with tide gauge records. Twenty coupled climate models from the CMIP5 project are also used. The models lead us to the same conclusions concerning the halosteric origin of the trend patterns.


Arctic Ocean Sea-level change Steric sea level Satellite altimetry Ocean mass CMIP5 models 



We thank three anonymous reviewers for their comments that helped us to improve the manuscript. Alice Carret is supported by the MONARCH project of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union. This paper is an overview of the oral presentation delivered at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) workshop on “Integrative study of the mean sea level and components” in February 2015.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEGOS, CNES, CNRS, IRD, UPSToulouseFrance
  2. 2.NERSCBergenNorway
  3. 3.DTUKongens LyngbyDenmark
  4. 4.CLSRamonville Saint-AgneFrance

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