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


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Global Mean Sea Level

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  • This resource shows a graph charting the change in average global sea level since 1992 and a map of sea level changes across the globe since 1993. 
  • Students can zoom on the graph to see detailed views of a specific period. 
Teaching Tips


  • This map provides an excellent opportunity for students to practice curiosity and ask questions.
  • Students can hover over the underlined words to see the definition of the word.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know how to read a line graph.
  • Some students might not understand what the ± (plus-minus sign) means (e.g., sea level rise is 98 ± 4 mm). This is the uncertainty margin, which means there is a high probability that the true number is within that range. Students can read more about uncertainty margins by hovering over the "i" icon on the left side of the page to the right of the latest measurement. 


  • In social studies or geography classes, students could use the map to identify areas that might be in danger of going underwater due to sea level rise.
  • Science classes could make a list of solutions for stopping sea level rise.
  • Other resources on this topic include this article about the future of sea level rise, this media literacy activity on sea level rise, and this video on what causes sea level rise and how it is affecting coastal communities in New Jersey.
Scientist Notes

The GMSL datasets are accurate and the criteria set for validation is appropriate. The resource will provide students with knowledge on global mean sea level, sea surface heights, anomalies, and variations. This resource is suitable and recommended for teaching.

  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
      • MS-ESS2-4 Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
      • 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.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • 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’s systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
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