Associated with that is whether heating of the ocean by the Sun is a direct major factor causing SLC during the 20th century.
My contention is that there is no major direct impact such as thermal expansion, rather, the major impact is indirect (The Warming Science Commentariat - 2).
As the globe is warmed by the burning of fossil fuels, and the resulting heat enters the air and the sea, the major impact is the melting of ice sheets and ice shelves.
Next in line, the melting of ice causes a loss of mass at the ice sheets, thus, there is a loss of the power of gravity there as the ice goes away.
Both the meltwater and the ghost-water are relocated toward the Equator, causing some SLC because they both spread out and are distributed along the way toward the equatorial bulge of the globe (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4).
Today I used the new software module (beta) to generate some .csv files for making graphs.
Notice the red, flat lines in Fig. 1, Fig. 3, Fig. 5, Fig. 7, Fig. 9, and Fig. 11.
Those red lines graph the mean temperature (ZMTMP) for those sub-Quadrants of those zones.
Notice that these graphs tell us that temperature change in the form of thermal expansion is not a major driver, i.e., not a major source of SLC.
So I rechecked and rechecked.
It wasn't until I took the same .csv file and did a split panel graph of the same data, that I began to get it.
The flat line is not flat when it is magnified out of proportion.
Check out the split panels that are numbered following the single panel graphs with those read flat lines.
The even numbered graphs are the split panels, while the odd numbered graphs are the ones with the red line.
The saw-toothed pattern appears, but the SLC is of a much greater degree than the temperature changes are.
Which is why the temperature changes look like a flat line on the single panel graphs, but the SLC patterns are jagged.
The warming of the ocean and the resulting thermal expansion always was and still is a minor factor.
It is the major player indirectly, because it indirectly causes sea level rise by melting ice sheets and ice shelves, either by warming the air and by warming the oceans.
That warming gets under, over, around, and sometimes down though the Greenland ice sheet, Antarctica ice sheet, and land based glaciers, because ~93% of warming goes into the ocean (Skeptical Science).
If thermal expansion was a major player it would show in these graphs.
The major factors of SLC in the 20th century, and now the 21st century as well, are already invading (Why The Military Can't Defend Against The Invasion).
I am still looking for patterns that would verify a delay time frame from when temperature increases and SLC takes place.
I don't see that so far.
Anyway, let me know if anything catches you eye in these graphs and their application.
Combining the vast data set from GISS with the vast one from PSMSL was a challenge.
But it is paying off.
We know to keep our eyes on the ice shelves that are weakening before out eyes.
As the Arctic ice cap floating on the Arctic ocean continues to disintegrate, that melt water will be relocated.
The clathrate (a.k.a. methane hydrate) deposits in the Arctic are increasingly likely to be exposed as the sea level in the Arctic falls.
Expect to see acceleration of SLC as the global warming continues to indirectly, but powerfully impact SLC.
BTW, all of the zones featured today were listed in the post The Beat Goes On.
The previous post in this series is here.