Watching our seas rise

Satellites, coral reefs, ancient Roman fishponds and sinking cities help us understand how humans are changing sea level

By Douglas Fox, 10:52 AM November 8, 2012

Visit the beach on a hot afternoon and you may not realize it, but someone — or rather something — is watching from above. If you stand in the right place, the silent watcher’s invisible spotlight will pass right over you, like the spotlight of a police helicopter flitting overhead.


That aerial observer zooming over your head is the Jason-2 satellite. It flies 1,340 kilometers (832 miles) high — as far above the ground as New York City is from Chicago. It travels 25,000 kilometers per hour, 2...

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