Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

The Unique Influence of Australia  on the Global Sea Level in 2010-2011

There was a significant drop in global sea level that was unprecedented in the altimeter era and concurrently with a La Niña event that was exceptionally strong. This paper reports the results of analyses that examined multiple data sets to explore the physical basis of the exceptional intensity and persistence of the sea level drop. It is shown that the Australian hydrologic surface mass anomaly was a dominant contributor to the global total for 2011. According to the authors1 the persistence of Australia's mass anomaly is attributed to its unique surface hydrology which includes the impeding of runoff to the ocean by expansive arheic (aka areic, aretic, arhetic) and endorheic basins. Attribution of sea level is addressed, based on the key role played by Australia. Influences, such as the Indian ocean Dipole and Southern Annular Mode, on teleconnections of La Niña are found to be key drivers of anomalous precipitation in the interior of the continent and the responses of the associated surface mass and sea level.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Fasullo, John T., Carmen Boening, Felix W. Landerer, and R. Steven Nerem. "Australia's Unique Influence on Global Sea Level in 2010–2011." Geophysical Research Letters 40, no. 16 (2013): 4368-73.
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 11/10/2013
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