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Atmospherically Forced and Chaotic Interannual Variability of Regional Sea Level and Its Components Over 1993–2015

Abstract : Satellite altimetry data have revealed a global mean sea level rise of 3.1 mm/yr since 1993 with large regional sea level variability. These remote data highlight complex structures especially in strongly eddying regions. A recent study showed that over 38% of the global ocean area, the chaotic variability may hinder the attribution to the atmospheric forcing of regional sea level trends from 1993 to 2015. This study aims to complement this work by focusing on the atmospherically forced and chaotic interannual variability of regional sea level and its components. At interannual time scales, variability can hamper the detection of regional sea level trends. A global 1/4° ocean/sea‐ice 50‐member ensemble simulation is analyzed to disentangle the imprints of the atmospheric forcing and of the chaotic ocean variability on the interannual variability of regional sea level and of its steric and manometric components over 1993–2015. The atmospherically forced and chaotic interannual variabilities of sea level mainly have a steric origin, except in coastal areas. The chaotic part of the interannual variability of sea level and its components is stronger in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans than in the Indian Ocean. The chaotic part of the interannual variance of sea level and of its steric component exceeds 20% over 48% of the global ocean area; this fractional area reduces to 26% for the manometric component. These results confirm the substantial imprint of the chaotic interannual variability on sea level components, questioning in several regions the attribution of their observed evolution to atmospheric causes.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03215005
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Submitted on : Monday, May 3, 2021 - 10:05:36 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 7:02:00 PM

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Alice Carret, W. Llovel, Thierry Penduff, Jean‐marc Molines. Atmospherically Forced and Chaotic Interannual Variability of Regional Sea Level and Its Components Over 1993–2015. Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans, Wiley-Blackwell, 2021, 126 (4), ⟨10.1029/2020JC017123⟩. ⟨insu-03215005⟩

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