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Database Provider


The Climate Initiative


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Maine

Sea Level Rise

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  • This article discusses the pace of global sea level rise, the causes of sea level rise, and how it is impacting coastal communities and ecosystems.
  • Students will learn that global sea level rise is happening much faster than it did in earlier centuries, it is occurring because of ice melting in the polar regions and greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the ocean, and it is threatening jobs, beaches, homes, and ecosystems in coastal areas.
Teaching Tips


  • This article is concise and easy to understand.
  • This article does an excellent job of explaining how greenhouse gas emissions lead to warmer water temperatures.

Additional Prerequisites

  • If you scroll down to the section titled "Act Now to #slowtherise" you'll find resources on how to lower your carbon footprint.
  • If you click the bracketed numbers within the article you'll be taken to the credible sources of this article's information.
  • The units are missing for the number quoted in the ice loss section at the top.


  • This article could support a lesson on glaciers and ice sheets in the polar regions and why they're important.
  • This article could enhance a classroom discussion on how societies could lower their carbon footprint.
  • This article could be used to create free-response questions about what climate change adaptation is, why its important, and what adaptation strategies could be useful for coastal communities.
  • This article could augment a classroom discussion on the economic consequences of climate change and what policies have led humanity to this point.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the Climate Initiative is an excellent introduction to the threat of rising sea levels due to global climate change. The resource is organized thoughtfully and all claims and predictions have sources linked. After discussing the causes and effects of sea level rise, a list of related topics are included so that students have the tools necessary to personally work to mitigate sea level rise or to serve as an advocate in their community. A number of informative websites are linked, including the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer, where students can see the impacts of sea level rise in their neighborhoods. The only small issue with this resource is the omission of units when presenting the ice loss from the poles, but this is not enough to spoil an otherwise excellent resource. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.CI.6.2 Determine the central idea of an informational text and explain how it is supported by key details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
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