Satellite Altimetry and Global Change
NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC AND ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS
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As our understanding of global climate has evolved, it has become increasingly important to develop methods for monitoring large scale ocean and ice processes. With the flight of GEOSAT, satellite altimetry has achieved some of its earlier promise and has shown a remarkable capacity for obtaining systematic global and basin scale information pertinent to the climate problem. This presentation opens with an overview of satellite altimeters, past and future, and of the information potential carried within the signal which can address global monitoring questions. During its 4-34 years of operation, the U. S. Navy GEOSAT altimeter acquired systematic data on ocean topography as well as nadir measurements of wind speed, significant wave height, sea ice, glaciers and fresh water lake levels. In the context of monitoring global change, or global sensitivity to change examples of the altimeter communitys studies of ocean current systems, eddy migration, basin scale circulation, sea ice and glacier monitoring are discussed. An examination is made of the possibilities for understanding atmosphere, ocean and ice convariations using eigenmode analysis of synthesized ocean SSH, wind vectors and ice edge location.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost