What causes the sea level to change?
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Static Visualization supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 8 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 4 Cross Cutting Concepts, 3 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 5 Cross Cutting Concepts, 2 Science and Engineering Practices
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Students should be encouraged to think about the time scales involved in the processes affecting sea level change.
About the Science
- The visualization shows that the level of the sea at the shoreline is determined by many factors in the global environment, which operate on a great range of time scales - from hours (tidal) to millions of years (ocean basin changes due to tectonics and sedimentation).
- Comments from expert scientist: The graph brings in one place several causes of sea level change, drawing on connections between various environments: inland, coastal, open ocean, and polar. The descriptions are succinct but should convey the idea that sea level change has many aspects to it. The material shows well-know causes of both global and local sea level change. However, there is no clear indication of what is local (e.g., extraction of groundwater or delta subsidence) versus more global (change in circulation or melting of glaciers).