• Views 384
  • Favorites
Photo via Unsplash

Database Provider


Google Earth


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 3 minutes, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Asia, Europe, Polar Regions, New York, New York City


YouTube Video

Our Ocean | Timelapse in Google Earth

Ask a Question

  • This time-lapse video uses Google Earth to show how climate change has impacted ice in the Arctic and how it may increase sea level rise in New York City, London, and Tokyo. 
  • The first part of the video shows how ice in the Arctic has melted between 1984 and 2020, while the second part of the video predicts what sea level rise will do to London, New York City, and Tokyo if global temperatures rise by 2°C. 
Teaching Tips


  • Timelapse video shows the progression of ice melt between 1984 and 2020, while back-to-back still images show the stark contrast between the landscape in 1984 and 2020.
  • The video includes thought-provoking data and quotations.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with basic climate change concepts such as global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, and sea level rise.


  • Biology classes could make a list of the ways melting sea ice could affect ecosystems in the Arctic. Once students have completed their lists, they could view this video on how species are adapting to warming temperatures in the Arctic. In pairs, students could discuss how their list compares to the information in the video.
  • Social studies classes could discuss how sea level rise will change societies. Students could consider the cultural, economic, and environmental impacts in major coastal cities and small towns around the world.
  • Other resources on this topic include this lesson plan and video on the impact of melting ice in Alaska's coastal communities, this interactive graph that shows ice cover in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and this lesson plan and experiments on climate change and sea level rise.
Scientist Notes
This timelapse video shows the impact of climate change on the Arctic, glaciers, and the ocean. This has further contributed to sea level rise and flooding in low-lying cities. The datasets were sourced from NOAA, IPCC, and UCCRN. Projected sea level rise will put over 800 million people at risk by 2050. This is fact-based and requires robust climate action to limit global warming. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.
      • 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.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • 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.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review