As a high school or undergraduate Geography or Earth Sciences teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching topics such as Hazards, and Disasters: Natural and Man-made.
This lesson plan allows students to understand how the melting of polar ice due to climate change can result in an increase in sea levels globally. The activity will also allow students to examine real data on sea-level rise, determine the reasons for climate change-related flooding, and visualize the effects of such flooding on vulnerable coastal regions.
Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Geography or Earth Sciences.
Changes in Global Sea Level
Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:
- 1. Name the largest glaciers (in terms of volume) in the world.
- 2. What would be the impact of the melting of large glaciers on coastal locations across the world?
- 3. What are the factors that determine the vulnerability of a coastline to flooding caused by rising sea levels?
- 4. What is the likely impact of a sea-level rise of 100 cm on San Francisco and Los Angeles?
Our Coast Our Future
About Lesson Plan
|Grade Level||High School, Undergraduate|
|Discipline||Geography, Earth Sciences|
|Topic(s) in Discipline||• Hazards, Disasters: Natural and Man-made
• Sea-level Rise
• Melting of Polar Ice due to Climate Change
|Climate Topic||Disasters and Hazards|
|Location||United States, California|
|Approximate Time Required||140 – 200 min|
|Classroom/Laboratory Activity (60 – 90 min)||A classroom/laboratory activity that introduces the relationship between climate and the cryosphere, explains how sea-level rise can be predicted (based on average global temperature change), and triggers a discussion on the potential impacts of sea-level rise.|
|Video (~7 min)||A video to discuss the social and economic impacts of rising sea levels.
|Classroom/Laboratory Activity (undergraduate level) (~90 min)
Visualization (high-school level) (60 – 90 min)
|For undergraduate level:
A classroom/laboratory activity to examine and analyze sea-level change data and shoreline response for the coast of California.
For high-school level:
Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.
|1. Introduce the topic through a classroom/laboratory activity
|2. Play a video||
|3. Conduct a Classroom/Laboratory Activity (undergraduate level) (~90 min)
Conduct an activity based on an interactive visualization (high-school level)
Use the tools and the concepts learned so far to discuss and determine answers to the following questions:
- • Name the largest glaciers (in terms of volume) in the world
- • What would be the impact of the melting of large glaciers on coastal locations across the world?
- • What are the factors that determine the vulnerability of a coastline to flooding caused by rising sea levels?
- • What is the likely impact of a sea-level rise of 100 cm on San Francisco and Los Angeles?
The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:
- • describe the relationship between climate and the cryosphere, and the possible impact of an increase in average global temperature on sea levels
- • explain sea-level rise and the reasons for the rise
- • discuss the factors that determine the vulnerability of coastal regions to inundation caused by rising sea-levels
|Sea Level Rise Simulation at Sea Level Change Portal||A simulation that explores the impact of collapsing polar ice sheets (Greenlandand Antarctica) and their impact on global mean sea level rise, along with shrinkage in livable area around the world. Available at https://sealevel.nasa.gov/vesl/web/sea-level/slr-eustatic/|
|Mobile App||A mobile app, “Polar Explorer: Sea Level”, from Columbia University: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/polar-explorer-sea-level/id1056414420|
|1||Classroom/Laboratory activity, “Future of the Cryosphere: Sea Level Rise”||EarthLabs at Science Education Resource Center (SERC), Carleton College|
|2||Video, “Rising Sea Levels”||NBC Learn’s Changing Planet|
|3||Classroom/Laboratory activity, “Mapping Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise at Point Reyes National Seashore”||Len Vacher, University of South Florida; available at SERC Carleton|
|4||Visualization, “OCOF Our Coast Our Future Flood Map”||Our Coast Our Future (OCOF)|
|5||Additional Resources||Columbia University|
All the teaching tools and images in our collated list are owned by the corresponding creators/authors/organizations as listed on their websites. Please view the individual copyright and ownership details for each tool by following the individual links provided. We have selected and analyzed the tools that align with the overall objective of our project and have provided the corresponding links. We do not claim ownership of or responsibility/liability for any of the listed tools.