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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.

This investigation is part of the NASA: Mission Geography Module "What are the causes and consequences of climate change?" that guides students through explorations in climatic variability and evidence for global climate change. 

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.

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.