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Arctic tide gauges: a status report
Plag, H.-P. (2000). Arctic tide gauges: a status report. IOC Information Documents, 1147. UNESCO: [s.l.]. i, 22 + annexes pp.
Part of: IOC Information Documents. UNESCO: Paris, more

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  • Plag, H.-P.

    Tide gauges in the Arctic are of high potential value for global change studies. They have the potential to provide a valuable contribution to global observing systems of the ocean and the climate system. Moreover, they are crucial if tide gauges are to be used to study present-day changes in the Arctic ice sheets. Nevertheless, in a large part of the Arctic, the present situation is characterised by a rapid reduction in the number of operational Arctic tide gauges and, consequently, a serious degradation of the observing system. Partly, this degradation is due to a lack of international requests for sea-level observations or a general lack of interest for sea-level data. In this report, the present status of the Arctic tide gauges is described and recommendations for the improvement of the operational observing are given. Metadata is not always readily available and in some cases, considerable uncertainties remain concerning the history and the present operational status of the gauges. Trends determined for the available Arctic tide gauge data indicate a spatial pattern in sealevel consistent with significant changes in the ice cover on Greenland and the larger ones of the Arctic islands. However, due to lack of data on crustal motion, ambiguities remain in the separation of geocentric crustal motion and geocentric sea-levels as well as the attribution of the observed trends to past or present changes in the ice loads.

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