Living Planet   

 

BENEFITS OF GOCE TO STUDIES OF GLOBAL SEA LEVEL CHANGE

Dr Philip Woodworth(1)

(1) Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, 6 Brownlow Street, Liverpool L3 5DA, United Kingdom

Abstract

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report (IPCC TAR) made very clear the scientific interest in, and practical importance of, understanding better past and potential future sea level changes. Space gravity missions will provide major benefits to the understanding of the past, and, thereby, in the prediction of future, sea level changes in many ways. The 'Granada-2' proposal for the GOCE mission described well the improvements to be expected from improved gravity field and geoid models in oceanography (for example, in the measurement of the time-averaged, or 'steady state', ocean surface circulation and better estimation of ocean transports), in geophysics (in the improvement of geodynamic models for vertical land movements), in geodesy (in positioning of tide gauge data into the same reference frame as altimeter data, and in improvement of altimeter satellite orbits), and possibly in glaciology (in improved knowledge of bedrock topography and ice sheet mass fluxes). CHAMP and GRACE will also make important steps towards these 'steady state' aims. This presentation will summarise several of these issues, pointing the way towards improved accuracy of prediction of future sea level change.

 

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry

GOCE04