As sea level has changed, so has the way we measure it. Here’s a look at some of the technologies climate and marine scientists have used to track Earth’s tides and global sea level over the past two centuries.
In 2013, global average sea level was 1.5 inches above the 1993-2010 average, which is the highest yearly average in the satellite record (1993-present). Overall, sea level continues to rise at a rate of one-eighth of an inch per year.
Why on Earth are climate scientists so interested in the West Antarctic ice sheet? This remote region of the seventh continent has been the subject of many recent research explorations--the results of which have been described in the news with words like “collapse,” “irreversible,” and “huge.”
Like a prehistoric fly trapped in amber during dinosaurs' days, airborne relics of Earth's earlier climate can end up trapped in glacial ice for eons. How do climate scientists turn those tiny relics into a story about Earth's ancient climate?
If mid-century projections of sea level rise prove true for New York City, four times as many people may be living in the 100-year floodplain than were previously estimated based only on observed changes.
Stunned by Sandy's devastation, the city of New York undertook an ambitious project: to update its long-term sustainability plan using the latest climate science. Their goal was to understand how much sea level could rise, how soon, and just how vulnerable the city would be if some of the more extreme climate change projections turn into reality.
(VIDEO) Within months of its opening, Ivar Johnson's restaurant on Panini Bay was devastated by Sandy. As he and his family rebuilt their dream, he talked with scientist Lisa Auermiller about how to face the future rise in sea level that would accompany global warming.
At various locations on New Jersey's Barnegat Bay Island, Norb Psuty talks with Climate.gov about how humans' desire for permanence on barrier islands is at odds with natural processes. But preserving or restoring key dune and beach features can help communities weather some storms.
(VIDEO) For many New Jersey residents and businesses, "resilience" means recovering from storms like last fall's Sandy. Lisa Auermiller with the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve talks about the factors that spur people to take a longer-term view.