Global land water storage change from GRACE over 2002-2009; Inference on sea level

W. Llovel 1 M. Becker 1 A. Cazenave 1 J. F. Cretaux 1 G. Ramillien 1
1 GOHS
LEGOS - Laboratoire d'études en Géophysique et océanographie spatiales
Abstract : Global change in land water storage and its effect on sea level is estimated over a 7-year time span (August 2002 to July 2009) using space gravimetry data from GRACE. The 33 World largest river basins are considered. We focus on the year-to-year variability and construct a total land water storage time series that we further express in equivalent sea level time series. The short-term trend in total water storage adjusted over this 7-year time span is positive and amounts to 80.6 +/- 15.7 km(3)/yr (net water storage excess). Most of the positive contribution arises from the Amazon and Siberian basins (Lena and Yenisei). followed by the Zambezi. Orinoco and Ob basins. The largest negative contributions (water deficit) come from the Mississippi, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Aral, Euphrates, Indus and Parana. Expressed in terms of equivalent sea level, total water volume change over 2002-2009 leads to a small negative contribution to sea level of -0.22 +/- 0.05 mm/yr. The time series for each basin clearly show that year-to-year variability dominates so that the value estimated in this study cannot be considered as representative of a long-term trend. We also compare the interannual variability of total land water storage (removing the mean trend over the studied time span) with interannual variability in sea level (corrected for thermal expansion). A correlation of similar to 0.6 is found. Phasing, in particular, is correct. Thus, at least part of the interannual variability of the global mean sea level can be attributed to land water storage fluctuations. (C) 2010 Academie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
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W. Llovel, M. Becker, A. Cazenave, J. F. Cretaux, G. Ramillien. Global land water storage change from GRACE over 2002-2009; Inference on sea level. Comptes Rendus Géoscience, Elsevier Masson, 2010, 342 (3), pp.179-188. ⟨10.1016/j.crte.2009.12.004⟩. ⟨hal-00991076⟩

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