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Spotlight on sea-level rise

25 September 2018

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Scientists are gathering in the Azores this week to share findings on how satellite has revealed changes in the height of the sea, ice, inland bodies of water and more. Of concern to all is the fact that global sea level has not only been rising steadily over the last 25 years, but recently it is rising at a much faster rate.

The 25 Years of Progress in Radar Altimetry Symposium gives participants the opportunity to share information gained from this particular sort of satellite instrument.

Radar altimeters record the surface topography along the satellite's ground track. They precisely measure the height of water, land and ice by timing the interval between the transmission and reception of very short radar pulses.

Anny Cazenave from the Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales said, "Satellite altimeters are an essential tool for monitoring sea-level rise. We use reference missions such as the CNES–NASA series of Jason satellites along with other missions such as the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission to gather a time series of data to understand how sea level is changing in the long term.

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