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Surging Seas Risk Finder

Climate Central

This is a multi-step, interactive tool for users to identify potential risks (to people, buildings, infrastructure, contamination, land) for selected coastal areas in the US, using scenarios of water level rising (as a result of tides, sea level rise, and storm surge) from 0-10 feet. Tool provides local, regional and national resources as guidance for managing risk.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Strategies of human adaptation to climate change
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPf
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

  • Excellent resource for students examining potential impacts of rising waters on local coastal communities.
  • Have students use the full-feature map instead of the default map. Other aspects of local flood risk are featured in this view.
  • Direct students to begin their exploration by resetting the water level to "show current coast." Then have them increase sea level by 1 or 2 feet to explore the changes/flooding that will occur in that region.
  • Educators should be familiar with the navigation and how students are going to interact with the visualization, before introducing the tool to students.

About the Science

  • This tool allows users to explore sea level and coastal flood risks at any location in the US.
  • Risks to population, property, and landmarks are listed.
  • Flood levels can be adjusted so that each stage of flooding can be studied.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - A wide variety of detailed information provided from population to infrastructure damage projections
    - Many cities are in the database
    - Visual tools
    - Links to other, more detailed information
    - "Reducing your risk" resource is fantastic
    - The local resources provided based on the coastal city you enter

    -Would be super helpful if there was more information on the science behind sea level rise.
  • About the Pedagogy

    • Tool is designed primarily for communities and policymakers but can be used as a resource for the classroom, with students acting as members of a community charged with understanding the risks of sea level rise (and associated rising of water levels) and proposing adaptation/mitigation strategies.
    • Guidance to instructors is not provided.
    • Local fact sheets and reports can be downloaded for each location selected.

    Technical Details/Ease of Use

    • Tool is easy to use.

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

    High School

    Performance Expectations: 1

    HS-ESS3-5: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.

    Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

    HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

    Cross Cutting Concepts: 1

    Stability and Change

    HS-C7.2:Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.

    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.

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