The WCRP Global Sea Level Budget Group has published a paper providing a comprehensive 'state of the science' review of global mean sea level from 1993 to present. The paper is a result of an international effort involving the sea level community worldwide assessing the various data sets used to estimate components of the sea level budget during the altimetry era. This is part of the WCRP Grand Challenge on Regional Sea Level and Coastal Impacts.

The paper presents estimates of the altimetry-based global mean sea level, as well as of the different components of the sea level budget. It examines the closure of the sea level budget (the difference between the calculated and observed global mean sea level) and outlines how much sea level rise can be attributed to ocean thermal expansion and ice melt from glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica.

The paper also looks at the sea level budget from 2005–present using GRACE-based ocean mass estimates. Results show closure of the sea level budget within 0.3mm/yr. Substantial uncertainty remains for the land water storage component, as shown in examining individual mass contributions to sea level.

Available: WCRP Global Sea Level Budget Group: Global sea-level budget 1993–present, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 1551-1590,, 2018. 

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