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For over 20 years, satellite altimeters have measured the sea surface height of our ever-changing oceans.  This series of images shows the complicated patterns of rising and falling ocean levels across the globe from 1993 to 2015.

An animation showing “sea level fingerprints,” or patterns of rising and falling sea levels across the globe in response to changes in Earth’s gravitational and rotational fields. Major changes in water mass can cause localized bumps and dips in gravity, sometimes with counterintuitive effects.

In some parts of the world sea levels are increasing, while decreasing in others, and remain relatively flat in a few places; for more than 20 years, NASA has been tracking the global surface topography of the ocean to understand the important role it plays in our daily lives. 

Information from satellites if often used to display information about objects. This information can include how things appear, as well as their contents. Explore how pixel data sequences can be used to create an image and interpret it.

This activity invites students to simulate and observe the different effects on sea level from melting sea-ice.
 

Credit: Modified from POLAR-PALOOZA (National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0632262) and the Office of Science, Department of Energy.

This activity invites students to model and observe the effect of melting ice sheets (from land) on sea level and the difference between the effect of melting sea-ice to that of melting land ice on sea level.

In this activity, students will use sea-level rise data to create models and compare short-term trends to long-term trends. They will then determine whether sea-level rise is occurring based on the data.

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