Barely one month in orbit, Jason-2 ( the ocean mapping and sea level monitoring satellite) has just beamed to earth a first picture of the planet's ocean.
Jason-2, which can take readings at very high resolutions (down to ~4 cm), has provided us a total glimpse of the oceans surface, which consists of bumps and depressions, much like the dessert. However before anyone can use the data, these need to be calibrated, so that indeed no one can claim there is, or there is no sea level rise.
Jason-2 is capable of measuring the elevation of the ocean surface, the height of waves, wind speed, temperature, salinity and of course when processed yield a lot more information about our oceans.
According to Jason-1, the mean global sea level has been rising about 3mm a year since 1993, that is about 4.5 cm - let's wait and see what Jason-2 tells us.
The Jason Ocean Surface Topography Mission is led by the US and France
Jason-2 maps ocean shape (reds indicate higher waters; blues are lower waters)
Source: BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7533921.stm