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Global Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

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    California Academy of Sciences

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Global Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

In this activity, learners practice the steps involved in a scientific investigation while learning why ice formations on land (not those on water) will cause a rise in sea level upon melting. This activity relates to climate change, water displacement, and density and can be performed as a demonstration or in groups. This detailed lesson guide includes key vocabulary, background information for educators, an extension activity, and resources.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • two identical clear food storage boxes (approximately 6 inches square)
  • 8 sticks of classroom modeling clay
  • ruler
  • tray of ice cubes
  • liter of water
  • Sea Level Rise Worksheets
  • pencils


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • States of Matter
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Risks and Benefits
      • Public Policy
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, California Academy of Sciences, ©2008


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