Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans






The advances in the modern sea level observing system have allowed for a new level of knowledge of regional and global sea level in recent years. The combination of data from satellite altimeters, Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, and Argo profiling floats has provided a clearer picture of the different contributors to sea level change, leading to an improved understanding of how sea level has changed in the present and, by extension, may change in the future. As the overlap between these records has recently extended past a decade in length, it is worth examining the extent to which internal variability on timescales from intraseasonal to decadal can be separated from long‐term trends that may be expected to continue into the future. To do so, a combined modal decomposition based on cyclostationary empirical orthogonal functions is performed simultaneously on the three data sets, and the dominant shared modes of variability are analyzed. Modes associated with the trend, seasonal signal, El Niño–Southern Oscillation, and Pacific decadal oscillation are extracted and discussed, and the relationship between regional patterns of sea level change and their associated global signature is highlighted.


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Data Availability

Article states: "The satellite altimetry grids are available from NASA JPL/PO.DAAC at the following location: GRACE land water storage data are available at, supported by the NASA MEaSUREs Program. The gridded fields based on Argo data used to compute the steric sea level data are available at The gridded fields based on Argo data used to compute the steric sea level data are available at"

Original Publication Citation

Hamlington, B. D., Cheon, S. H., Piecuch, C. G., Karnauskas, K. B., Thompson, P. R., Kim, K. Y., . . . Frederikse, T. (2019). The dominant global modes of recent internal sea level variability. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124, 2750-2768. doi:10.1029/2018JC014635


0000-0002-9320-6803 (Cheon)