Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »
Sea-Level Rise Visualization for Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida

NOAA Coastal Services Center, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, U.S. Geological Survey, USGS

This is an interactive map that illustrates the scale of potential flooding in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida due to projected sea level rise. It is a collaborative project of NOAA Sea Grant Consortium and the US Geological Survey. It is a pilot project, so there is some possibility that the resource may not be maintained over time.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice
High School: 2 Performance Expectations, 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Sea level rise and resulting impacts is due to melting ice and thermal expansion and increases the risk
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7a

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

  • Educators should use this interactive map in conjunction with the flood frequency predictions on https://gom.usgs.gov/slr/flood.aspx.
  • Visualization would need to be accompanied by additional learning resources, but offers students living in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida the ability to directly check potential sea level rise in their area by address.
  • Can spark discussions on the demographics of the areas most at risk of flooding on the Gulf Coast.

About the Science

  • This is a detailed visualization of the potential sea level rise in the Gulf coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida relative to the Katrina Storm Surge.
  • The map illustrates the scale of potential flooding, not the exact location, and does not account for erosion, subsidence, or future construction. Water levels are shown as they would appear during an average high tide. Rising sea levels will cause daily high tides to reach farther inland.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Allows any viewer to choose a location at multiple spatial scales, from regional down to street level, and to manipulate (or 'model') the potential flooding at that location due to possible incremental sea level increase.

About the Pedagogy

  • This interactive map is helpful to visualize the potential impacts of sea level rises of 1-6 feet on daily high tides on the Gulf Coast.
  • The ability to zoom in and to add population and road layers is useful in understanding the human impacts of sea level rise on this particular coastline.
  • Student can check to see if their location will be impacted by rising sea level.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The simplicity of the design is direct but may fall short of usability over time and due to lack of applicability to a wider number of areas. As of now it only is useful for those living in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
  • Zoom in on a coastline before using overlays for best results.
  • The overlays can be slow to load. Be patient if nothing happens at first.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

MS-ESS2.C1:Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.

MS-ESS2.C2:The complex patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns.

MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Patterns, Cause and effect

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.

High School

Performance Expectations: 2

HS-ESS2-2: Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.

HS-ESS2-5: Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

HS-ESS2.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Patterns, Cause and effect

HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.

HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.

Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »