Sea Level Rise: Cause and Effect

Thank you for registering to participate in Clean Ocean Action’s 2nd Annual Virtual Teach-In!  Please feel free to use the following pages listed as classroom resources.  To show your participation in teaching about Superstorm Sandy during the week of October 27th, please take photos of your class and send them to, or post them to Clean Ocean Action’s facebook, or Twitter!  (#cleanocean #virtualteachin).  Don’t forget to send us your feedback on the program and the materials below (email or call 732-872-0111).

 The resources below have been compiled as references to use in your classrooms.  While Clean Ocean Action did not create any of these lessons, we have tried to provide the most accurate and informative sources as possible.  Please keep in mind some sources may be from before Superstorm Sandy, but still give valuable information about the science behind the storm.  Some links may lead to additional sites that may not necessarily be suggested by Clean Ocean Action as a resource.
Coastal Consequences of Sea Level Rise

  •  Multiple Age Groups
  • The ocean’s surface is not level, and sea levels change in response to changes in chemistry and temperature. Sophisticated satellite measurements are required for scientists to document current sea level rise. This module explores the evidence for sea level rise related to global climate change and the consequences for humanity, especially coastal-dwelling populations.

Source: PBS Teachers

Global Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

  • Grades 3-8
  • In this 65 minute lesson, students will practice the steps involved in a scientific investigation as they learn why ice formations on land-not those on water- will cause a rise in sea level upon melting.

Source: California Academy of Sciences

CoastWatch Episode 3: Sea Level Rise and Increased Storminess

  •  Grades 5-8
  •  This 3 minute Video looks into sea level rise and what it might mean for you if you live close to the sea.

Source: Southport Eco Centre- A Vision of a Sustainable Future

Mapping Sea Level Rise

  •  Grades 9-12
  •  In this 2-3 class period activity, students will learn the difference between sea ice and glaciers in relation to sea level rise. They will create and explore topographic maps as a means of studying sea level rise and how it will affect Alaska’s coastline.

Source: Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)

NJ Flood Mapper

  •  Grades 9-12
  •  This interactive mapping website was designed and created to provide a user-friendly visualization tool that will help get information into the hands of local communities who need to make decisions concerning flooding hazards and sea level rise.

Source: Rutgers University

Sea Level Trends

  •  Grades 9-12
  •  This 1-2 hour lesson plan is designed as an introductory activity exploring one facet of global climate change. Students will access real scientific data to investigate and compare long-term changes in seal level from different coastal locations around the United States.

Source: National Marine Educators Association 

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