Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Geophysical Research Letters






e2020GL092327 (1-9)


Sea-level rise is an important indicator of ongoing climate change and well observed by satellite altimetry. However, observations from conventional altimetry degrade at the coast where regional sea-level changes can deviate from the open-ocean and impact local communities. With the 2018 launch of the laser altimeter onboard ICESat-2, new high-resolution observations of ice, land, and ocean elevations are available. Here we assess the potential benefits of sea level measured by ICESat-2 by comparing to data from Jason-3 and tide gauges. We find good agreement in the linear rates computed from the independent observations, with an absolute average residual of 3.60 ± 0.03 cm yr−1 between global ICESat-2 and Jason-3 observations at a 1° posting. The recent La Niña is clearly evident in ICESat-2 observations, as well as small-scale features. By demonstrating the quality of the ICESat-2-measured sea level, we provide support for integrating it into the existing suite of sea-level observations.


Copyright 2021 American Geophysical Union.

"AGU allows authors to deposit their journal articles if the version is the final published citable version of record, the AGU copyright statement is clearly visible on the posting, and the posting is made 6 months after official publication by the AGU."

Data Availability

Article states: "All data used in this study is freely available. ATL12 ICESat-2 data are available at the NSIDC (J. H. Morison, 2020; Jason-3 data are available from NCEI (Lillibridge, 2019; Tide gauge data are available from the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center (Caldwell, 2015; Water polygons for masking are available from Open Street Maps (OSM 2017;"

Original Publication 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(9), 1-9, Article e2020GL092327.


0000-0002-0602-3196 (Buzzanga)


Article Location