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Reconstruction of Mediterranean sea level fields for the period 1945–2000

Reconstruction of Mediterranean sea level fields for the period 1945–2000
Reconstruction of Mediterranean sea level fields for the period 1945–2000
The distribution of sea level in the Mediterranean Sea is recovered for the period 1945–2000 by using a reduced space optimal interpolation analysis. The method involves estimating empirical orthogonal functions from satellite altimeter data spanning the period 1993–2005 that are then combined with tide gauge data to recover sea level fields over the period 1945–2000. The reconstruction technique is discussed and its robustness is checked through different tests. For the altimetric period (1993–2000) the prediction skill is quantified over the whole domain by comparing the reconstructed fields with satellite altimeter observations. For past times the skill can only be tested locally, by validating the reconstruction against independent tide gauge records. The reconstructed distribution of sea level trends for the period 1945–2000 shows a positive peak in the Ionian Sea (up to 1.5 mm yr? 1) and a negative peak of ? 0.5 mm yr? 1 in a small area to the south-east of Crete. Positive trends are found nearly everywhere, being larger in the western Mediterranean (between 0.5 and 1 mm yr? 1) than in the eastern Mediterranean (between 0 and 0.5 mm yr? 1). The estimated rate of mean sea level rise for the period 1945–2000 is 0.7 ± 0.2 mm yr? 1, i.e. about a half of the rate estimated for global mean sea level. These overall results do not appear to be very sensitive to the distribution of tide gauges. The poorest results are obtained in open-sea regions with intense mesoscale variability not correlated with any tide gauge station, such as the Algerian Basin.
sea level rise, altimetry, empirical orthogonal functions, tide gauge, Mediterranean Sea
0921-8181
225-234
Calafat, F.M.
7c43d62a-c376-446c-93b4-87d4c1bd9d05
Gomis, D.
ef896bf2-de1e-48b2-8faa-c66f3f439f3c
Calafat, F.M.
7c43d62a-c376-446c-93b4-87d4c1bd9d05
Gomis, D.
ef896bf2-de1e-48b2-8faa-c66f3f439f3c

Calafat, F.M. and Gomis, D. (2009) Reconstruction of Mediterranean sea level fields for the period 1945–2000. Global and Planetary Change, 66 (3-4), 225-234. (doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2008.12.015).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The distribution of sea level in the Mediterranean Sea is recovered for the period 1945–2000 by using a reduced space optimal interpolation analysis. The method involves estimating empirical orthogonal functions from satellite altimeter data spanning the period 1993–2005 that are then combined with tide gauge data to recover sea level fields over the period 1945–2000. The reconstruction technique is discussed and its robustness is checked through different tests. For the altimetric period (1993–2000) the prediction skill is quantified over the whole domain by comparing the reconstructed fields with satellite altimeter observations. For past times the skill can only be tested locally, by validating the reconstruction against independent tide gauge records. The reconstructed distribution of sea level trends for the period 1945–2000 shows a positive peak in the Ionian Sea (up to 1.5 mm yr? 1) and a negative peak of ? 0.5 mm yr? 1 in a small area to the south-east of Crete. Positive trends are found nearly everywhere, being larger in the western Mediterranean (between 0.5 and 1 mm yr? 1) than in the eastern Mediterranean (between 0 and 0.5 mm yr? 1). The estimated rate of mean sea level rise for the period 1945–2000 is 0.7 ± 0.2 mm yr? 1, i.e. about a half of the rate estimated for global mean sea level. These overall results do not appear to be very sensitive to the distribution of tide gauges. The poorest results are obtained in open-sea regions with intense mesoscale variability not correlated with any tide gauge station, such as the Algerian Basin.

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More information

Published date: April 2009
Keywords: sea level rise, altimetry, empirical orthogonal functions, tide gauge, Mediterranean Sea
Organisations: Physical Oceanography

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Local EPrints ID: 366331
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/366331
ISSN: 0921-8181
PURE UUID: f6d15a5b-f026-4ef6-9290-71f102a54de6

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Date deposited: 24 Jun 2014 15:04
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:02

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Author: F.M. Calafat
Author: D. Gomis

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