Animations

December 5, 2016
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. Sea levels reflect changing currents (which tilt the sea surface), the redistribution of heat (which makes sea levels higher) and the long term rise in global sea levels that is the result of human-caused warming. The globally averaged rise is traced out in the bottom right-hand corner. These maps are made using data from at least two satellites at all times, and colors represent highs and lows between 30 cm of normal levels.

December 5, 2016
This visualization shows total sea level change between 1992 and 2014, based on data collected from the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Jason-2 satellites. Blue regions are where sea level has gone down, and orange/red regions are where sea level has gone up. Since 1992, seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches. The color range for this visualization is -7 cm to +7 cm (-2.76 inches to +2.76 inches), though measured data extends above and below 7cm (2.76 inches). This particular range was chosen to highlight variations in sea level change.

September 30, 2016
The animation illustrates the evolution of sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) associated with the 2015-16 El Niño in the Pacific Ocean. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a quasi-periodic fluctuation of ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. The temperatures generally fluctuate between two states: warmer than normal central and eastern equatorial Pacific (El Niño) and cooler than normal central and eastern equatorial Pacific (La Niña). 

September 30, 2016
The animation compares the evolution of sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) associated with the 1997-98 and 2015-16 El Niño events. The comparison illustrates that the 2015-16 El Niño was preceded by anomalous warm waters throughout the Pacific, especially along the West Coast of Central and North America.

January 30, 2016
Jason-3 launched January 17, 2016. It is the 4th in a series of altimetric satellites, starting with TOPEX/Poseidon in 1992, that is jointly operated by NASA and CNES along with NOAA and EUMETSAT. Jason-3 continues the legacy of measuring sea level and understanding climate change. It is also important for operational oceanography, which is used for marine meteorology. Please give credit for this video to: CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and Mira Productions

January 29, 2016
Altimetric satellites are able to measure sea level and can observe how it has been changing with climate change since 1992. Not only can they tell us the global change but also the regional changes. Sea level changes are due to thermal expansion of water, melting of the polar ice caps and continental glaciers and water inputs from land. Tide gauges are able to tell us that sea level rose at a slower rate before the 1990s and then the global sea level trend increased after that. This is likely due to the increase of greenhouse gasses and climate change. The continued observation of sea level by altimetric satellites will be able to inform us what the future of sea level is.

January 29, 2016
The water cycle is how atmosphere, land and ocean processes interact with each other. Since the launch of TOPEX/Poseidon in 1992 lake levels have been monitored, but not on a global scale due to the limitations of the instruments and orbit. The hope is that the future mission, SWOT, will be able to remedy the current issues with radar altimeters as it will have a much larger observation area and measure heights and a finer resolution. Please give credit for this video to: CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and Mira Productions

January 28, 2016
Marine wildlife, such as penguins and sea turtles, can be tacked from satellites using ARGO transmitters, along with and measuring currents and sea surface temperature from other ocean observing satellites. Knowing the currents and temperature help with understanding where marine wildlifes’ feeding grounds are and if they are being impacted by climate change. Please give credit for this video to: CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and Mira Productions

January 28, 2016
Operational oceanography provides forecasts or near real time information of ocean conditions. This information can be used to assist in fishing, oceanic oil rig position or navigation so that these entities are prepared for poor or dangerous conditions and can take appropriate action. Sea level measured from Jason-3 is important for these forecasts as it provides information on what the current ocean conditions are and also the wave height. Please give credit for this video to: CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and Mira Productions

January 27, 2016
Coastal areas are subjected to erosion from waves breaking on shore and storms. Satellite altimetry from the Jason series can provide information on sea level rise, which can be used in planning beach renourishment to combat erosion.  To further understand coastal processes and monitor coastal erosion a new satellite mission, SWOT, will provide a finer resolution than what the current altimeters can provide. Please give credit for this video to: CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and Mira Productions

Pages