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Geophysical Research Letters








We examine the consistency of Indo-Pacific decadal sea level variability in 10 gridded, observation-based sea level products for the 1960-2010 period. Decadal sea level variations are robust in the Pacific, with more than 50% of variance explained by decadal modulation of two flavors of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (classical ENSO and Modoki). Amplitude of decadal sea level variability is weaker in the Indian Ocean than in the Pacific. All data sets indicate a transmission of decadal sea level signals from the western Pacific to the northwest Australian coast through the Indonesian throughflow. The southern tropical Indian Ocean sea level variability is associated with decadal modulations of ENSO in reconstructions but not in reanalyses or in situ data set. The Pacific-independent Indian Ocean decadal sea level variability is not robust but tends to be maximum in the southwestern tropical Indian Ocean. The inconsistency of Indian Ocean decadal variability across the sea level products calls for caution in making definitive conclusions on decadal sea level variability in this basin.


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Data Availability

Article states: "The CW reconstruction and merged satellite altimetry are both available from CSIRO-Australia website at ( All the reanalyses used in this study are accessible at ( The NOAA-NODC world ocean data heat content and thermosteric sea level data are available at ( The LEGOS sea level reconstructions are freely available at ( The HA sea level reconstruction is available at"

Original Publication Citation

Nidheesh, A. G., Lengaigne, M., Vialard, J., Izumo, T., Unnikrishnan, A. S., Meyssignac, B., . . . Montegut, C. D. (2017). Robustness of observation-based decadal sea level variability in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(14), 7391-7400. doi:10.1002/2017gl073955


0000-0002-2315-6425 (Hamlington)


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