The GlobalMass team has a new paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, which provides a new estimate of global net ocean mass change for the period 2005-2015.
Estimates of changes in the total volume (or mass) of water in the oceans are required to quantify contemporary sea level rise, yet ‘direct’ measurements from satellites contain uncertainties and reveal disagreements when combined. Our new paper investigates using the global ocean salt budget as an alternative approach. The authors, including former GlobalMass team member William Llovel and GlobalMass PI Jonathan Bamber, used the observed ‘freshening’ of the global oceans to infer the mass change that must have occurred in order to produce it.
This approach gives an ocean mass trend that is smaller than some other previous estimates, but is notable for providing an independent validation of calculation of ocean mass trends using data from the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission.
A plain language summary of the work is available here.
Full paper: ‘Global ocean freshening, ocean mass increase and global mean sea level rise over 2005–2015’ by William Llovel, Sarah Purkey, Benoit Meyssignac, Alejandro Blazquez, Nicolas Kolodziejczyk and Jonathan Bamber (2019) in Scientific Reports 9, 17717 (doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54239-2 )