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Sea Level Articles

Sea Level Change Campaign

NASA has numerous datasets and resources for monitoring sea level change. The Sea Level Change Data Pathfinder, geared for new users, provides direct links to commonly-used datasets and links to tools for visualizing and analyzing the data.

According to the United Nations, 40% of the world's population lives within 100 km of a coast, meaning that close to three billion people could be impacted by changes in sea level. Coastal communities are centers of economic, social, and cultural development; they also provide significant ecological and environmental services. Global mean sea level (GMSL) is increasing at about 3.3 mm/yr and is already having catastrophic effects in coastal communities through flooding, erosion, and storm-related hazards.

These articles, many from the Sensing Our Planet series, highlight some of these efforts. To meet some of the scientists using Earthdata for sea level change research and applications, see our Data User Profiles.

Most Recent

The Precision Behind Sea Level Rise
Knowing the precise location of a satellite in space is critical for determining sea surface height and, through this, the rate of global mean sea level rise.

Solving the Data Puzzle of Sea Level Rise
The new Sea Level Change Data Pathfinder highlights the diversity of datasets used to piece together the status and drivers of sea level rise.

Articles by Subject Area

Glaciers and Ice Sheets

Space-based Ice Sight
After a century of exploration and research, much remains unknown about the so-called seventh continent of Antarctica.

The un-ice age
Earth’s remaining ice sheets head for the ocean.

A submarine retreat
New maps get to the bottom of Greenland’s outlet glaciers.

Fragment of its Former Shelf
Disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf.

After the Larsen B
Researchers study the aftermath of the collapse of an Antarctic ice shelf to find out what might happen next.

Fathoming Antarctica
Lakes hidden under the Antarctic ice sheet may play a role in its stability.

Greenland's polar ice is one of the best barometers of the global climate.

Vanishing Ice
By the end of the 2002 season, the total area of surface melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet had broken all known records.

Collecting Data at a Glacial Pace: The Greenland Ice Mapping Project
Greenland’s more than 200 major outlet glaciers are constantly on the move - many of them at some of the fastest speeds ever recorded.

ICESat-2 Data Usher in a New Age of Exploration
Data from NASA’s ICESat-2 mission provide incredibly accurate measurements of Earth elevation change—and much more.

Sea Surface Temperature, Sea Surface Height, and Sea Level Rise

Measure for Measure
The Dynamic and Interactive Assessment of National, Regional and Global Vulnerability of Coastal Zones to Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise (DINAS-COAST) project are working to create software to help policy makers better understand coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise.

Tracking the itinerant
Geodesists seek crazy precision in measuring sea level.

Rising above Tide Gauges
The TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter not only measures absolute sea level relative to the Earth's center, it also provides much greater spatial coverage than tide gauges.

When oceans drop
Could La Niña or El Niño shrink the ocean?

Visit the New NASA Sea Level Change Portal!
Features up-to-date NASA sea level change research, science and news

Eye on the Ocean
TOPEX/Poseidon and its follow-on Jason-1 monitor our oceans by collecting sea level data.

Double Vision
TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 use radar altimetry to measure the height of the ocean surface relative to the center of the Earth.

High-Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Data Available in the Cloud
High-resolution sea surface temperature data can be used to study marine heat waves and the health of marine ecosystems.

Data User Profiles

Dr. John Fasullo tracks changes in Earth’s climate.

Dr. Joan Ramage studies glaciers and snowmelt.

Dr. Philip Thompson uses NASA Earth science data to explore how—and when—global sea level rise will affect vulnerable communities.

Explore more Data User Profiles

Published November 2, 2020

Page Last Updated: Jun 7, 2021 at 2:26 PM EDT