This lesson is comprised of three activities (three class periods). Students use web-based animations to explore the impacts of ice melt and changes to sea level. Students are introduced to topographic maps by doing a hands-on activity to model the contours of an island. Then students examine the relationship between topography and sea level rise by mapping changing shorelines using a topographic map.

This web page from the National Snow and Ice Data Center contains two related visualizations and supporting information about them. The first visualization gives an estimate of the percent contribution to sea level change since the 1990s from three contributors - small glaciers and ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The second visualization shows the cumulative contribution to sea level from small glaciers and ice caps plotted with the annual global surface air temperature anomaly.

This video adapted from Bullfrog Films examines the effects of global warming on the Pacific island of Samoa with testimonials from an expert in both western science knowledge and traditional ecological knowledge. Background essay and discussion questions are included.

This video is narrated by climate scientist Richard Alley. It examines studies US Air Force conducted over 50 years ago on the warming effects of CO2 in the atmosphere and how that could impact missile warfare. The video then focuses on the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand; the glacier is used to demonstrate a glacier's formation, depth of snow fall in the past, and understand atmospheric gases and composition during the last Ice Age. Supplemental resources are available through the website.

This video examines the thawing of permafrost due to changes in climate and shows examples of the impacts that warming temperatures have on permafrost in the Arctic, including the release of the greenhouse gas methane. Dramatic results are shown, including sink holes forming on the landscape and beneath buildings, roads, and other infrastructure, causing some communities to relocate.

This is a short experiment to demonstrate the concept of thermal expansion of water when heated, as an analogy to thermal expansion of oceans due to global warming.

This interactive map allows the user to explore projected alterations of land surfaces in coastal communities, based on different scenarios of sea level changes over time.

This well-designed experiment compares CO2 impacts on salt water and fresh water. In a short demonstration, students examine how distilled water (i.e., pure water without any dissolved ions or compounds) and seawater are affected differently by increasing carbon dioxide in the air.

This collection of photos from the NASA Climate website features images of global change, such as floods, wildfires, and retreating glaciers. Not all images show change caused directly by climate change and energy use, and descriptive captions indicate causes for change in most of the images.

This video is part of the Climate Science in a Nutshell series. This short, animated video looks at evidence of a rapidly warming planet. It discusses how air bubbles in ice cores can be used to estimate Earth's average air temperature for thousands of years and how direct measurements document air temperatures from 1880.

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