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Gravitationally Consistent Mean Barystatic Sea Level Rise From Leakage‐Corrected Monthly GRACE Data

Dobslaw, Henryk; Dill, Robert; Bagge, Meike; Klemann, Volker; Boergens, Eva; Thomas, Maik; Dahle, Christoph; Flechtner, Frank

Gravitationally consistent solutions of the Sea Level Equation from leakage‐corrected monthly‐mean GFZ RL06 Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE Follow‐On (GRACE‐FO) Stokes coefficients reveal that barystatic sea level averaged over the whole global ocean was rising by 1.72 mm a−1 during the period April 2002 until August 2016. This rate refers to a truely global ocean averaging domain that includes all polar and semienclosed seas. The result corresponds to 2.02 mm a−1 mean barystatic sea level rise in the open ocean with a 1,000 km coastal buffer zone as obtained from a direct spatial integration of monthly GRACE data. The bias of +0.3 mm a−1 is caused by below‐average barystatic sea level rise in close proximity to coastal mass losses induced by the smaller gravitational attraction of the remaining continental ice and water masses. Alternative spherical harmonics solutions from CSR, JPL, and TU Graz reveal open‐ocean rates between 1.94 and 2.08 mm a−1, thereby demonstrating that systematic differences among the processing centers are much reduced in the latest release. We introduce in this paper a new method to approximate spatial leakage from the differences of two differently filtered global gravity fields. A globally constant and time‐invariant scale factor required to obtain full leakage from those filter differences is found to be 3.9 for GFZ RL06 when filtered with DDK3, and lies between 3.9 and 4.4 for other processing centers. Spatial leakage is estimated for every month in terms of global grids, thereby providing also valuable information of intrabasin leakage that is potentially relevant for hydrologic and hydrometeorological applications.
Published in: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 10.1029/2020JB020923, Wiley