Tide gauges installed along coastlines, or on ocean platforms, rely on sensors to make a continuous record of water height, by the minute, hour, or day. These records are made in comparison to a reference point known as the geoid, or mean (average) sea level and its imagined extension over land areas.
To better predict changes in Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, sea-level scientists turn their focus to the bedrock beneath.
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission will explore how the ocean absorbs atmospheric heat and carbon, moderating global temperatures and climate change.
In a question and answer session, ice sheet researcher Sophie Nowicki, a member of the NASA Sea Level Change Team, discusses a new era in sea-level research.
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the newest addition to a long line of ocean-monitoring satellites, becomes the reference satellite for sea level measurements.
NASA, NOAA, USGS, and other U.S. government agencies project that the rise in ocean height in the next 30 years could equal the total rise seen over the past 100 years.