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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access August 18, 2021

Kinematics of global mean thermosteric sea level during 1993–2019

  • H. Bâki İz


Because oceans cover 71% of Earth’s surface, ocean warming, consequential for thermal expansion of sea water, has been the largest contributor to the global mean sea level rise averaged over the 20th and the early 21st century. This study first generates quasi-observed monthly globally averaged thermosteric sea level time series by removing the contributions of global mean sea level budget components, namely, Glaciers, Greenland, Antarctica, and Terrestrial Water Storage from satellite altimetry measured global sea level changes during 1993–2019. A baseline kinematic model with global mean thermosteric sea level trend and a uniform acceleration is solved to evaluate the performance of a rigorous mixed kinematic model. The model also includes coefficients of monthly lagged 60 yearlong cumulative global mean sea surface temperature gradients and control variables of lunisolar origins and representations for first order autoregressive disturbances. The mixed kinematic model explains 94% (Adjusted R2)1 of the total variability in quasi-observed monthly and globally averaged thermosteric time series compared to the 46% of the baseline kinematic model’s Adjusted R2. The estimated trend, 1.19±0.03 mm/yr., is attributed to the long-term ocean warming. Whereas eleven statistically significant (α = 0.05) monthly lagged cumulative global mean sea surface temperature gradients each having a memory of 60 years explain the remainder transient global mean thermosteric sea level changes due to the episodic ocean surface warming and cooling during this period. The series also exhibit signatures of a statistically significant contingent uniform global sea level acceleration and periodic lunisolar forcings.


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Received: 2021-03-28
Accepted: 2021-06-17
Published Online: 2021-08-18

© 2021 H. Bâki İz, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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