New NASA web portal shines beacon on rising seas

April 6, 2016 by Alan Buis, NASA
Lauderdale, Florida, is at risk from rising sea levels. Credit: Dave/Flickr Creative Commons/CC BY 2.0

Sea level rise is a critical global issue affecting millions across our planet. A new Web portal developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, gives researchers, decision makers and the public alike a resource to stay up to date with the latest developments and scientific findings in this rapidly advancing field of study.

The portal, "Sea Level Change: Observations from Space," is online at: sealevel.nasa.gov/

The portal's key features include:

  • "Understanding Sea Level," a summary of decades of scientific research that has shaped our knowledge of rise: its causes, including a warming, expanding ocean and melting ice on land; projections of future ; and ways in which humanity might adapt, largely drawn from NASA data.
  • An interactive data analysis tool, launching in mid-2016, that will allow direct access to NASA datasets on sea level. Users will be able to manipulate these datasets to automatically generate charts, graphs and maps of , temperature and other factors. The analysis tool will also allow users to make forecasts of future conditions, as well as "hindcasts"—retroactive calculations of past trends and conditions.
  • News highlights and feature stories with strong visual elements that explore the findings of sea level researchers in detail.
  • An extensive library of published papers on sea level-related topics, hyperlinked to individual citations throughout "Understanding Sea Level."
  • A multimedia section with dynamic still and video imagery, and a glossary of sea level terms.
  • A "frequently asked questions" section maintained by sea level scientists. Users can submit questions to scientists and data managers.

The website is optimized for most mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

"Sea Level Change: Observations from Space" is managed by a team led by JPL scientist Carmen Boening. The team is part of the NASA Sea Level Change Team research group.

"With sea levels rising globally, as observed by satellites over the past decades, sea level change is a hot topic in climate research," Boening said. "This new tool provides a NASA resource for researchers and a wealth of information for members of the public seeking a deeper understanding of ."

Explore further: Parched Earth soaks up water, slowing sea level rise: study

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