The warming of Earth is primarily due to accumulation of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and more than 90 percent of this trapped heat is absorbed by the oceans. As this heat is absorbed, ocean temperatures rise and water expands. This thermal expansion contributes to an increase in global sea level. Temperature measurements of the sea surface, taken by ships, satellites and drifting sensors, along with subsurface measurements and observations of global sea-level rise, have shown that the warming of the upper ocean caused sea level to rise due to thermal expansion in the 20th century. Using measurements from Argo profiling floats, we know this warming has continued, causing roughly one-third of the global sea-level rise observed by satellite altimeters since 2004.
Three decades of climate satellite observations helps researchers understand the drivers of sea level rise.
View and analyze projections of high-tide flooding frequency in coming decades for coastal locations around the U.S.
A new plain-language guide can help coastal planners use scientific data to prepare for the effects of rising seas – including more frequent, minor flooding.
What can hidden motions underground tell us about earthquakes, eruptions, and even climate change? NASA scientists are using data gathered 400 miles (about 644 kilometers) above Earth to find out.
A new study sheds light on the connections between climate change, glacier melt, sea level, and the role of humans.