- Related Research Areas
- Climate Variability & Change, Earth Surface & Interior
Our research objectives in this proposal are to (i) use a wide suite of geodetic observables to derive independent constraints on atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrological mass and angular momentum transports within the Earth system; (ii) apply these constraints to evaluate the realism of related process models and data assimilation systems during the meteorological satellite era (1979 - present); and (iii) analyze residuals from the observed geodetic budgets to derive estimates for un-modeled excitation sources, such as high-latitude land ice ablation. This interdisciplinary exercise will combine and leverage numerical model data with space-geodetic observations to obtain unique constraints on Earth system processes that cannot be obtained or validated within traditional single-disciplinary approaches. The geodetic data we will use for verification and validation activities include length-of-day, polar motion, geocenter motion, low order spectral components of the gravity field obtained from satellite laser ranging, and higher order gravity changes obtained from GRACE data. By inter-comparing global-scale mass transports among different process models and with independent geodetic data, we will derive error estimates for the associated excitation functions and assess the degree to which closed budgets for the geodetic observables can be formed. Residuals in these budgets can then be used to derive constraints for un-modeled or poorly observed excitation sources such as high latitude land ice, which together with recent GRACE retrievals can facilitate the detection of long-term acceleration in land ice ablation and global sea level rise. Our proposed work highlights the value of space-geodetic technology to climate research, in a synergistic environment that facilitates cross-comparisons of model and independent observational data to form a robust assessment of ongoing changes in the Earth system. This research addresses NASA Strategic Goal 3 (Subgoal 3A): Study Earth from space to advance scientific understanding and meet societal needs.
Project PI: Jean Dickey/Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Institute of Technology
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