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A Global Observing System for Monitoring and Prediction of Sea L evel C hange Lee -Lueng Fu COSPAR, 2014, Moscow Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology. Evolution of Earth Observation from Space. 1970-1990: Exploration

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A Global Observing System for Monitoring and Prediction of Sea L evel C hange Lee -Lueng Fu

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A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

A Global Observing System for Monitoring and Prediction of Sea Level Change

Lee-Lueng Fu

COSPAR, 2014, Moscow

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

California Institute of Technology


Evolution of earth observation from space

Evolution of Earth Observation from Space

  • 1970-1990: Exploration

  • Weather satellites (TIROS, Nimbus, NOAA series, Meteor, Meteosat,…)

  • Land imaging (Landsat, SPOT, …)

  • Ocean observations (Seasat, Geosat,..)

  • Advanced measurement (UARS, T/P, ERS, …)

  • 1990-2010: Earth System Science

  • EOS (Terra, Aqua, Aura)

  • Envisat, TRMM

  • A-Train (Cloudsat, Calipso, GCOM-W, etc)


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

The Bretherton Diagram set the stage of Earth System Science


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

The A-Train example of an observing system

The satellites are in a polar orbit, crossing the equator northbound at about 1:30 p.m. local time, within seconds to minutes of each other.


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Earth System Science Approach to the Sea Level Problem

lidar

scatterometry

altimetry

InSAR

River discharge

Reference frame

gravimetry

In-situ

Adapted from Church et al (2013)


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Challenges

  • Understand the processes

  • Regional variability

  • Assessment and projection

  • Calibration and continuity

IPCC AR5


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Altimetric record of the global mean sea level

Nerem et al, 2013


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Global sea level change in terms of ocean heat and ice melt

altimetry

GRACE

Argo

Altimetry –GRACE

Llovel et al., 2014


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Detection of the rate change of global mean sea level

  • Altimetry: 2.8 +/- 0.4 mm/yr

  • The dominant error is tide gauge calibration owing to land motions. The time scale is much longer than decadal.

  • GRACE: 2.0 +/- 0.4 mm/yr

  • The dominant error is due to GIA correction with time scale much longer than decadal.

  • When calculating the rate change on decadal time scale, the long time scale errors are canceled, leading to 0.07 mm/yr for altimetry and 0.1 mm/yr for GRACE.

  • This allows detection of rate change of sea level of 0.28 mm/yr/decade and the rate change of the mass component of 0.4 mm/yr/decade, at 95% confidence.


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Steric sea level and ocean warming

  • The standard error for the full-depth steric sea level rate is sqrt(0.072 + 0.12), or 0.12 mm/yr, comparable to the error estimated from Argo for the upper 2000 m(0.15 mm/yr)

  • This allows detection of rate change of steric sea level of 0.24 mm/yr/decade at 68% confidence, or 0.48 mm/yr/decade, ~50% of the signal, at 95 % confidence.

  • The rate of steric sea level can be related to the rate of ocean heat storage:

  • α = coefficient of thermal expansion

  • cp=specific heat at constant pressure;

  • q’=heat content anomaly/unit volume

  • If the warming is concentrated at the surface layer, then

  • Q’= ocean warming rate at W/m2


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Regional variability: small long-term trends imbedded in large cyclic natural variability

Willis et al (2011)


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Decadal Sea Level Change in the Pacific Ocean

Hamlington et al., 2013


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

The Effects of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation

Hamlington et al., 2013


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

The length of time (in years) required for determining the trend of sea level change with an accuracy of 1 mm/yr.

from 5 (deep blue) to 100 years (deep red).

Hughes and Williams, 2011


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

A projection of sea level change from 2000 to 2100

Slangen et al (2011)


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

22

HY-2B China

CRYOSAT-2 Europe

SARAL/AltiKaFrance/India

Jason-CS Europe/USA

Sentinel-3B Europe

SWOT USA/France

Jason-2Europe/USA

GLOBAL ALTIMETER MISSIONS

Launch

Date

08

09

21

Reference Missions - Higher Accuracy/Medium Inclination

Jason-3 Europe/USA

Complementary Missions - Medium Accuracy/Higher Inclination

Sentinel-3A Europe

Sentinel-3C/D

HY-2A

Operating

Approved

Proposed

sw 24may11


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Cross calibration between TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1

SSH Difference

Before

cm

After

cm

Bonnefond and Haines, 2008


A global observing system for monitoring and prediction of sea l evel c hange lee lueng fu

Conclusions

  • Among the suite of space-borne Earth observations, a system of measurements emerge to form an observing system for monitoring global sea level change.

  • The system allows the separation of the effect of ocean heat from that of melting ice, providing key information for estimating future sea level change and ocean warming.

  • The system provides cross-cutting information in oceanography, glaciology, meteorology, and geodesy to close the budget of sea level change.

  • International science teams have been established to assimilate the observations for making projection of future sea level change.

Geodesy

altimetry

InSAR

Argo

Scientists & engineers

Modeling


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