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Because it recognizes the importance of U.S. coastal areas to the nation's economy, the U.S. National Ocean Service has formed a task force that is studying the trends and impacts of hurricanes on coastal regions. They have invited your students to participate.

This learning activity uses data acquired by the TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter, a joint project of NASA and the French Space Agency, to investigate the relationship between the topography of a sea-floor feature and the topography of the overlying sea surface.

Students analyze historic plant growth data (i.e., peak bloom dates) of Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossom trees, as well as atmospheric near surface temperatures as evidence for explaining the phenomena of earlier peak blooms in our nation’s capital.