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Surging Seas

Climate Central

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.

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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • In order to create rich lessons using the Surging Seas interactive, teachers should take the time to explore all of the components of this site. Encourage students to make full use of all the related resources and data available with the interactive.

About the Science

  • Threats from sea level rise and storm surge to all 3000 plus coastal communities in the US are represented on this interactive map. The map shows best estimates of land under different water levels, based upon the National Elevation Dataset from the US Geological Survey - the best publicly available elevation data covering the entire US coast. Students can search sea level rise impact by name of city or town or zip code to see the statistics of how an area may/may not be impacted.
  • Comments from expert scientist: I love that you can download data on this website. The downloads are easy to use, since they come in excel worksheets. I think this is a fantastic resource. The maps are great. The fact sheets are also nice. It also has wonderful links to other resources.

About the Pedagogy

  • This interactive is well-supported for students and teachers to download the data in Excel maps to investigate their area more closely. Students will be curious and motivated to investigate their own areas and towns and then read reports for their areas. This is a very rich site.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent visualization.
  • Nuances of changes in view as you zoom into areas while changing sea levels can be confusing - needs to be explored to be well understood.

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