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Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences

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YouTube Video

What Causes Sea Level Rise?

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  • This video explains how scientists measure sea level and the differences between local sea level and global sea level. 
  • Using simple animated visuals, students learn how the Earth's sea level can rise over time. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video is designed for younger students and explains the concept of sea level rise in a simple format.
  • Suggested comprehension questions and answers are provided in the video description.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video mentions that the Earth is getting warmer but it doesn't explain global warming, so you may want to review the greenhouse effect and causes of global warming with students.
  • Vocabulary terms for the video include glaciers, local sea level, and global sea level.


  • To increase student comprehension, go over the comprehension questions after viewing the video and have students write down their own definitions for local and global sea level.
  • Students in science classes could do an extension activity in which they must work together to engineer a solution to protect coastal communities from sea level rise. 
  • Related resources include this video about sea level rise in Massachusetts, this interactive map of high water events in New Jersey, and this ebook about sea level rise and climate change.
Scientist Notes
The video highlights how record-breaking temperatures have caused sea level rise locally and globally. It shows how NASA satellites measure global sea level to enable coastal communities to respond to sea level rise. This resource is ideal for classroom use.
  • 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.
      • 4-ESS2-2 Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
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