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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.

Two characteristics of climate change are resulting in sea level rise. First, the melting of ice sheets and glaciers on land are adding more water to the oceans.

Understanding Sea Level

Learn more about the different causes of sea level change and the scientific background of observations and projecting sea level.

Learn more about the different causes of sea level change and the scientific background of observations and projecting sea level. Find out about the history of measuring sea level and how state-of-the-art physical climate models predict sea level change into the future.

Credit: NASA Sea Level Change

Students explore the effects of ice sheets on global sea level focused using NASA data.  Using the resources provided, students collaborate and communicate their findings in a jig-saw activity format.

Sea Level Scientists are also known by several other names (marine geologist, paleoceanographer, paleoclimatologist, etc.). These professionals use natural records from the past to characterize local, regional, and global environments.

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.

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. 

What is sea-level rise and how does it affect us? This "Teachable Moment" looks at the science behind sea-level rise and offers lessons and tools for teaching students about this important climate topic. 

In some parts of the world sea levels are increasing, while decreasing in others, and even 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. 

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