Global Mean Sea Level Rise
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Global Average Absolute Sea Level Change, 1880-2014 from the US Environmental Protection Agency using data from CSIRO, 2015; NOAA, 2015.

This data contains "cumulative changes in sea level for the world’s oceans since 1880, based on a combination of long-term tide gauge measurements and recent satellite measurements. It shows average absolute sea level change, which refers to the height of the ocean surface, regardless of whether nearby land is rising or falling. Satellite data are based solely on measured sea level, while the long-term tide gauge data include a small correction factor because the size and shape of the oceans are changing slowly over time. (On average, the ocean floor has been gradually sinking since the last Ice Age peak, 20,000 years ago.)"



Key Findings:

We estimate the rise in global average sea level from satellite altimeter data for 1993–2009 and from coastal and island sea-level measurements from 1880 to 2009. For 1993–2009 and after correcting for glacial isostatic adjustment, the estimated rate of rise is 3.2 ± 0.4 mm year−1 from the satellite data and 2.8 ± 0.8 mm year−1 from the in situ data. The global average sea-level rise from 1880 to 2009 is about 210 mm. The linear trend from 1900 to 2009 is 1.7 ± 0.2 mm year−1 and since 1961 is 1.9 ± 0.4 mm year−1. There is considerable variability in the rate of rise during the twentieth century but there has been a statistically significant acceleration since 1880 and 1900 of 0.009 ± 0.003 mm year−2 and 0.009 ± 0.004 mm year−2, respectively. Since the start of the altimeter record in 1993, global average sea level rose at a rate near the upper end of the sea level projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Third and Fourth Assessment Reports. However, the reconstruction indicates there was little net change in sea level from 1990 to 1993, most likely as a result of the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

Further Information

For further information you may visit the following websites:


  • Funding and other support
    • CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research through the Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship
    • Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre Program
    • Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC)
    • Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) - a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology
    • Department of Climate Change (Australian Government)
    • Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP) and follow-up Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Planning program (PACCSAP) administered by the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) in collaboration with AusAID
  • Provision of data
    • National Tidal Centre (Bureau of Meteorology, Australia)
    • NASA/JPL - satellite altimeter data, particularly TOPEX/Poseidon
    • CNES (France) and Aviso - satellite altimeter data, particularly Jason-1
    • Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), UK - tide gauge data




EPA is Federal Government, so public domain we would assume.


Figures marked "CSIRO", are copyright CSIRO, but please feel free to use them, conditional on the figures not being altered, and their source being acknowledged, and with a link to this site where possible. All other figures are copyright. Please do not copy without the owner's permission.

Additional work

All the additional work made to build this Data Package is made available under the Public Domain Dedication and License v1.0 whose full text can be found at:



The paper describing this data reconstruction is: Church, J. A. and N.J. White (2011), Sea-level rise from the late 19th to the early 21st Century. Surveys in Geophysics, doi:10.1007/s10712-011-9119-1. This paper is published "Open Access" and is available as a pdf from here.