Seas Are Rising Faster Than Ever

November 18, 2020 By Paul Voosen Science Magazine
Ask climate scientists how fast the world’s oceans are creeping upward, and many will say 3.2 millimeters per year—a figure enshrined in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, from 2014. But the number, based on satellite measurements taken since the early 1990s, is a long-term average. In fact, the global rate varied so much over that period that it was hard to say whether it was holding steady or accelerating.

Ice-tracking Space Laser Could Also Map Sea Floor and Monitor Health of Coral Reefs

April 14, 2020 By Paul Voosen Science Magazine
Late in 2018, just after its arrival in orbit, NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite passed over an iconic site from the atomic age. By chance, its laser altimeter, used mostly to measure the changing height of polar ice, bounced light off the exposed rocks of Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific Ocean, home to 23 nuclear weapons tests. Then, mission scientists looked closer: To their surprise, the laser was also generating underwater reflections.