Ocean Physics at NASA
NASA Says 2022 Fifth Warmest Year on Record
Surface temperature tied with 2015 as 5th warmest and ocean heat content continues to rise
SWOT Program Scientist gives Nature Water interview
In Nadya’s conversation with Nature Water, she speaks about what SWOT will bring and why SWOT matters.
See SWOT get ready for launch
See how SWOT is delivered to it being placed into the rocket.
NASA Study: Rising Sea Level Approaching 1 ft
New results show average sea level rise approaching the 1-foot mark for most coastlines of the contiguous U.S. by 2050.
Jump to: About | Science | Missions | Data | Partnerships | Contacts
The ocean plays a fundamental role in the Earth’s system. It shapes our planet’s climate and weather by absorbing, storing, and transporting large quantities of heat, water, moisture, and carbon dioxide. NASA’s Physical Oceanography (PO) program enables research that advances our understanding of the ocean’s role in climate. Our scientists utilize NASA satellite and sub-orbital data, climate models and data science to study ocean dynamics, sea level rise, hydrological cycle, and ocean interactions within the Earth system.
To join us and become a NASA scientist, apply to one of current NASA research opportunities.
Science and Research
NASA’s Physical Oceanography program directs multiple competitively-selected NASA’s Science Teams that study the physics of the oceans. Below are details about each science team.
Sea Level Change (N-SLCT)
Ocean Surface Topography (OSTST)
Ocean Surface Salinity (OSST)
Ocean Vector Winds (OVWST)
Sea Surface Temperature (SST)
PO program provides scientific leadership on the following missions:
Currently taking measurements
Salinity And Stratification at the Sea Ice Edge (SASSIE)
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich/Jason-CS
Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE)
Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP)
Compact Ocean Wind Vector Radiometer (COWVR)
Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT)
Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL)
Past missions providing data for current research
Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG)
2012-2013 & 2016-2017
Access the Data
The Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) preserves NASA's ocean and climate open data and makes these universally accessible and meaningful.
PO program actively engages in the following national and international partnerships that work together to sustain and enhance the Earth observing system.
US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)
NASA-ESA Earth Science Joint Program Planning Group
NASA-ESA Satellite and In situ Salinity Working Group
Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer
Lead, NASA Climate Variability and Change
Physical Oceanography Program Manager
Contact | Bio
Physical Oceanography Support Scientist
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