Sea-level rise: No chaos in the satellite-data record

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The use of the slang term snafu (indicating a confused or chaotic state) in your headline 'Satellite snafu masked true sea-level rise for decades' undermines the satellite record's crucial contribution to the precise measurement of indicators of Earth's changing climate (Nature 547, 265266; 2017).

The correction you report represents less than 1 centimetre of the total sea-level increase of 8 cm or more that has been observed since 1993. Removing this small correction helped to reveal that the globally averaged rise in sea levels is accelerating. We used solid analysis and detective work to refine the accuracy of the satellite-data record to within less than 1 cm — not to fix a snafu.

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  1. University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.

    • R. Steven Nerem
  2. Laboratory of Geophysical and Oceanographic Studies (LEGOS), Toulouse, France.

    • Anny Cazenave
  3. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

    • John Church

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