Two world maps showing global sea-level rates computed from satellite data.
Global sea-level rates computed from ICESat-2 (top) and Jason-3 (bottom). The two data sources have a mean absolute residual of 3.60 ± 0.03 cm yr-1 with a standard deviation of 5.94 cm yr-1. Agreement between these data sets shows the potential for ICESat-2 to contribute to the existing sea level observing system. Credit: Buzzanga et al. [2021], Figure 3
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Geophysical Research Letters

As sea level rises in response to climate change so does the demand for a robust global sea level observing system. Buzzanga et al. [2021] show that the laser altimeter carried by the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), part of NASA’s Earth Observing System, is capable of measuring sea level and sea level rise. These ICESat-2 measurements fill two critical gaps in the existing satellite radar systems: the coast and the polar oceans. Robust sea level observations in these regions are critical for understanding and predicting climate change and will be required for effective mitigation and adaptation efforts.

This research letter is published in the special collection The Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) On-Orbit Performance, Data Discoveries and Early Science

Citation: Buzzanga, B., Heijkoop, E., Hamlington, B. D., Nerem, R. S., & Gardner, A. [2021]. An assessment of regional ICESat-2 sea-level trends. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL092327.

—Kathleen A. Donohue, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters

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