Climate Investigations using Sea Level

Tuesday 1:30pm-2:40pm
Share-a-Thon Part of Share-a-Thon


Margie Turrin, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory


I will demonstrate the web app. I can guide some of the exploration with the group and then people can pull out their phones to do a mini investigation.


'Climate Investigations' uses our internet app called 'Polar Explorer: Sea Level' developed from publicly available data from both the physical drivers and the human impacts of climate change.

The goal of the activity is to use data to drive discussion around our changing climate. The data is organized into chapters like a book with each one introduced by a question. Topics include areas like "What is sea level?"; "Why does sea level change?" "Where is it changing now?" "What about the past?" etc.

Students can approach the data in several ways: (1) We have generated a set of questions that can guide them to think about evidence of climate change as well as causes and impacts, or (2) We can use question prompts for students to generate their own questions from the data and then this can be used to generate discussions in class. (1) is done as a group discussion or in teams while (2) starts with independently generating questions which are then discussed as a group.


We have used this activity with both undergraduate students and high school students when talking about climate change its evidence and impacts.

Why It Works

The activity is a way to get students working directly with data considering the evidence of change, the processes driving change and also the impacts. The data are represented geospatially and include temporal elements, both of which are key geoscience skills we want our students to develop.

Presentation Media

Climate Investigations Instructor pptx (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 399kB Jul17 19)

Presentation Media

updated links to the Climate Eplorations (Acrobat (PDF) PRIVATE FILE 307kB Jul17 19)