Organization of this Chapter

The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows. First we present a brief review of results obtained to date on determining low-frequency sea level change from satellite altimetric data. We then review the altimetric measure ment system in some detail for readers unfamiliar with the topic, trying to make estimates of the types of errors associated with the various component of the system. Next we turn to methods of detecting and correcting low-frequency trends in the altimetric data—an essential element in the application of altimetry to the determination of long-term trends, just as maintaining a consistent reference level is essential in the operation of tide gauges (Douglas, Chapter 3). Finally, we summarize the low-frequency sea level change results obtained with the T/P data, and conclude with an assessment of the prospects for improvement in the future.

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