Understanding Forced Climate Signals in the 30-year Satellite Altimeter Sea Level Record
Event: 2022 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Science I: Climate data records for understanding the causes of global and regional sea level variability and change
Presentation type: Type Oral
Contribution: PDF file
Recent research has shown that the forced response to greenhouse gases and aerosols is beginning to emerge in the 30-year trends of sea level change observed by satellite altimetry. Many of the features in the observed trends can be tied to physical mechanisms in the climate system as it responds to climate change, which we will review. The main question we are trying to answer is what are these trends telling us about future patterns of regional sea level change? To answer this question, we turn to climate models, which allow us to probe the various contributions of greenhouse gases, anthropogenic aerosols, biomass burning, and volcanic eruptions to regional patterns of sea level change. Climate models suggest there will be substantial persistence in the patterns of forced sea level change as we move into the coming decades, but there will likely be subtle differences and accompanying contributions from internal climate variability. We explore various machine learning techniques to understand how to map observed sea level patterns into the future. We will discuss our preliminary results from this effort and our plans for future research.