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2019
Meyssignac, B, Boyer T, Zhao ZX, Hakuba MZ, Landerer FW, Stammer D, Kohl A, Kato S, L'Ecuyer T, Ablain M, Abraham JP, Blazquez A, Cazenave A, Church JA, Cowley R, Cheng LJ, Domingues CM, Giglio D, Gouretski V, Ishii M, Johnson GC, Killick RE, Legler D, Llovel W, Lyman J, Palmer MD, Piotrowicz S, Purkey SG, Roemmich D, Roca R, Savita A, von Schuckmann K, Speich S, Stephens G, Wang GJ, Wijffels SE, Zilberman N.  2019.  Measuring global ocean heat content to estimate the earth energy imbalance. Frontiers in Marine Science. 6   10.3389/fmars.2019.00432   AbstractWebsite

The energy radiated by the Earth toward space does not compensate the incoming radiation from the Sun leading to a small positive energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere (0.4-1 Wm(-2)). This imbalance is coined Earth's Energy Imbalance (EEI). It is mostly caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and is driving the current warming of the planet. Precise monitoring of EEI is critical to assess the current status of climate change and the future evolution of climate. But the monitoring of EEI is challenging as EEI is two orders of magnitude smaller than the radiation fluxes in and out of the Earth system. Over 93% of the excess energy that is gained by the Earth in response to the positive EEI accumulates into the ocean in the form of heat. This accumulation of heat can be tracked with the ocean observing system such that today, the monitoring of Ocean Heat Content (OHC) and its long-term change provide the most efficient approach to estimate EEI. In this community paper we review the current four state-of-the-art methods to estimate global OHC changes and evaluate their relevance to derive EEI estimates on different time scales. These four methods make use of: (1) direct observations of in situ temperature; (2) satellite-based measurements of the ocean surface net heat fluxes; (3) satellite-based estimates of the thermal expansion of the ocean and (4) ocean reanalyses that assimilate observations from both satellite and in situ instruments. For each method we review the potential and the uncertainty of the method to estimate global OHC changes. We also analyze gaps in the current capability of each method and identify ways of progress for the future to fulfill the requirements of EEI monitoring. Achieving the observation of EEI with sufficient accuracy will depend on merging the remote sensing techniques with in situ measurements of key variables as an integral part of the Ocean Observing System.

2018
Cazenave, A, Meyssignac B, Ablain M, Balmaseda M, Bamber J, Barletta V, Beckley B, Benveniste J, Berthier E, Blazquez A, Boyer T, Caceres D, Chambers D, Champollion N, Chao B, Chen JL, Cheng LJ, Church JA, Chuter S, Cogley JG, Dangendorf S, Desbruyeres D, Doll P, Domingues C, Falk U, Famiglietti J, Fenoglio-Marc L, Forsberg R, Galassi G, Gardner A, Groh A, Hamlington B, Hogg A, Horwath M, Humphrey V, Husson L, Ishii M, Jaeggi A, Jevrejeva S, Johnson G, Kolodziejczyk N, Kusche J, Lambeck K, Landerer F, Leclercq P, Legresy B, Leuliette E, Llovel W, Longuevergne L, Loomis BD, Luthcke SB, Marcos M, Marzeion B, Merchant C, Merrifield M, Milne G, Mitchum G, Mohajerani Y, Monier M, Monselesan D, Nerem S, Palanisamy H, Paul F, Perez B, Piecuch CG, Ponte RM, Purkey SG, Reager JT, Rietbroek R, Rignot E, Riva R, Roemmich DH, Sorensen LS, Sasgen I, Schrama EJO, Seneviratne SI, Shum CK, Spada G, Stammer D, van de Wal R, Velicogna I, von Schuckmann K, Wada Y, Wang YG, Watson C, Wiese D, Wijffels S, Westaway R, Woppelmann G, Wouters B, Grp WGSLB.  2018.  Global sea-level budget 1993-present. Earth System Science Data. 10:1551-1590.   10.5194/essd-10-1551-2018   AbstractWebsite

Global mean sea level is an integral of changes occurring in the climate system in response to unforced climate variability as well as natural and anthropogenic forcing factors. Its temporal evolution allows changes (e.g.,acceleration) to be detected in one or more components. Study of the sea-level budget provides constraints on missing or poorly known contributions, such as the unsurveyed deep ocean or the still uncertain land water component. In the context of the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge entitled "Regional Sea Level and Coastal Impacts", an international effort involving the sea-level community worldwide has been recently initiated with the objective of assessing the various datasets used to estimate components of the sea-level budget during the altimetry era (1993 to present). These datasets are based on the combination of a broad range of space-based and in situ observations, model estimates, and algorithms. Evaluating their quality, quantifying uncertainties and identifying sources of discrepancies between component estimates is extremely useful for various applications in climate research. This effort involves several tens of scientists from about 50 research teams/institutions worldwide (www.wcrp-climate.org/grand-challenges/gc-sea-level, last access: 22 August 2018). The results presented in this paper are a synthesis of the first assessment performed during 2017-2018. We present estimates of the altimetry-based global mean sea level (average rate of 3.1 +/- 0.3mm yr(-1) and acceleration of 0.1 mm yr(-2) over 1993-present), as well as of the different components of the sea-level budget (http://doi.org/10.17882/54854, last access: 22 August 2018). We further examine closure of the sea-level budget, comparing the observed global mean sea level with the sum of components. Ocean thermal expansion, glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica contribute 42%, 21%, 15% and 8% to the global mean sea level over the 1993-present period. We also study the sea-level budget over 2005-present, using GRACE-based ocean mass estimates instead of the sum of individual mass components. Our results demonstrate that the global mean sea level can be closed to within 0.3 mm yr(-1) (1 sigma). Substantial uncertainty remains for the land water storage component, as shown when examining individual mass contributions to sea level.

2014
Purkey, SG, Johnson GC, Chambers DP.  2014.  Relative contributions of ocean mass and deep steric changes to sea level rise between 1993 and 2013. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 119:7509-7522.   10.1002/2014JC010180   AbstractWebsite

Regional and global trends of Sea Level Rise (SLR) owing to mass addition centered between 1996 and 2006 are assessed through a full-depth SLR budget using full-depth in situ ocean data and satellite altimetry. These rates are compared to regional and global trends in ocean mass addition estimated directly using data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) from 2003 to 2013. Despite the two independent methods covering different time periods with differing spatial and temporal resolution, they both capture the same large-scale mass addition trend patterns including higher rates of mass addition in the North Pacific, South Atlantic, and the Indo-Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, and lower mass addition trends in the Indian, North Atlantic, South Pacific, and the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean. The global mean trend of ocean mass addition is 1.5 (0.4) mm yr(-1) for 1996-2006 from the residual method and the same for 2003-2013 from the GRACE method. Furthermore, the residual method is used to evaluate the error introduced into the mass budget if the deep steric contributions below 700, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 m are neglected, revealing errors of 65%, 38%, 13%, 8%, and 4% respectively. The two methods no longer agree within error bars when only the steric contribution shallower than 1000 m is considered.Key PointsRegional and global mass addition estimates from sea level and steric data Regional and global mass addition estimates from GRACE compare well Full-depth steric measurements yield deep ocean contribution to sea level rise