Sea level rise is caused by several different processes, including melting ice. But one big contributor to sea level rise is increasing global temperatures, which heat seas and cause something called thermal expansion of water. Thermal expansion happens when water gets warmer, which causes the volume of the water to increase. About half of the measured global sea level rise on Earth is from warming waters and thermal expansion.
You can see how this process works by building a model using everyday items to demonstrate that water expands when heat energy is added.
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See below for materials and step-by-step instructions. For more video tutorials and activities like this one, visit Learning Space.
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In this episode of Learning Space, you'll do an experiment to see how water volume increases when the temperature of the water increases. Then explore how this process is contributing to sea level rise. | Watch on YouTube