Melting of the Greenland Ice Cap

Melting of the Greenland Ice Cap

Lesson 8 of 9 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 7 - 8
  • Science
  • Environmental
  • Climate Change
  • Conservation
  • Land Management
  • Oceans
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this activity, students learn about the different causes of sea level rise. Students conduct experiments that demonstrate how ice shelf melting may not directly affect sea levels, but how ice cap melting would. Students use maps and geometry to estimate the volume of the Greenland ice cap and then, after doing some examples, they calculate the rise in sea level that would result if the entire ice cap were to melt. Students may then conduct further research to investigate the consequences of the sea cap melting for humans and other elements of our environment.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • demonstrate that sea level rises can occur via different effects
  • understand that the size of these rises can be calculated by well planned calculations.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:  

Science Year 7:

  • Water is an important resource that cycles through the environment (ACSSU116) 

Science Year 8:

  • Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems (ACSSU155)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-10PW, SC4-12ES

Time required: 45 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity

Resources required

  • Internet access
  • Printed worksheets, writing materials
  • Ice, bucket or fish tank
  • Other items depending upon student inquiry choices

Additional info

This is an original Cool.org lesson. Facts and figures in these lessons may have changed since this lesson was published. We always endeavour to update our resources in a timely manner, but if you see an error or issue in our resources please get in touch with us.

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