Solving the Data Puzzle of Sea Level Rise
The new Sea Level Change Data Pathfinder highlights the diversity of datasets used to piece together the status and drivers of sea level rise.
Sea levels are rising at an average of 3.3 millimeters per year around the world. Rising seas are already having catastrophic effects in coastal communities through flooding, erosion, and storm-related hazards.
Scientists now have an unprecedented understanding of changing sea levels, thanks to data collected and distributed by NASA and partner space agencies. For example, international satellites have collected almost 30 years of data on sea surface height from satellite altimeters.
But no single satellite instrument can provide a complete picture of the status and drivers of rising seas around the world.
Melting ice sheets, thermal expansion of water, and terrestrial freshwater use are just some of the major factors contributing to rising sea levels. Piecing together the drivers of sea level change requires a diversity of datasets and a long time series from many satellite instruments.
The new Sea Level Change Data Pathfinder delves into many of the datasets scientists use to study the status of global and regional sea level change.