Earth’s global sea levels are rising – and are doing so at an accelerating rate. Waters in the ocean are expanding as they absorb massive amounts of heat trapped by greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. Glaciers and ice sheets are adding hundreds of gigatons of meltwater into the oceans each year.
With satellites, airborne missions, shipboard measurements, and supercomputers, NASA has been investigating sea level rise for decades. Together with our international and interagency partners, we’re monitoring the causes of sea level rise with high accuracy and precision. Global sea level is rising approximately 0.13 inches (3.3 millimeters) a year. That’s 30% more than when NASA launched its first satellite mission to measure ocean heights in 1992.