Sea level in the Arctic Ocean from ERS, Envisat and CryoSat-2 radar altimetry
Event: 2014 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Science Results from Satellite Altimetry: Regional and basin-scale processes and sea level rise
Presentation type: Type Oral
Contribution: PDF file
By applying the sea ice radar altimetry processing techniques developed at University College London we are able to measure sea level on a monthly basis in the ice-covered regions of the Arctic Ocean. We combine these sea level estimates with sea level measured in the ice-free areas to examine changes in sea level over the Arctic Ocean basin (up to 82N) over the past 18 years, incorporating data from ERS-2, Envisat and CryoSat-2. We compare basin-scale sea level trend estimates with global mean sea level trends. As with Giles et al. (2012), we find strong regional trends in the Beaufort Sea, and we extend their western Arctic sea level time series up to 2013. We examine ERA-INTERIM 10m wind fields to investigate what is driving this 'spin up' of the Beaufort Gyre. Whilst we find weak seasonal trends in wind speed and curl, they do not account for the observed rapid changes in sea level hinting at changes in the atmosphere-ocean exchange processes.
 Giles et al. (2012), Western Arctic Ocean freshwater storage increased by wind-driven spin-up of the Beaufort Gyre, Nature Geoscience, Volume 5, 194-197, doi:10.1038/ngeo1379