Global Climate: Estimating How Much Sea Level Changes When Continental Ice Sheets Form

In this activity, students estimate the drop in sea level during glacial maxima, when ice and snow in high latitudes and altitudes resulted in lower sea levels. Students estimate the surface area of the world's oceans, use ice volume data to approximate how much sea levels dropped, and determine the sea-level rise that would occur if the remaining ice melted.

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Paul Butler
The Evergreen State College
SERC Pedagogic Service Project

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Activity does not really point to original data source. Educator could email author for more info or find out current numbers by doing online research.

Educator would ideally use a group approach,in which students with solid math and Excel skills partner with less-skilled students.

Instructions in spreadsheet are not well laid out - rephrasing them on a worksheet might be more effective.