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Mountain of Ice: If the Ice Melts
This interactive resource portrays what might happen to world coastlines if entire sections of the Antarctic Ice Sheet were to melt. Viewers can see how much land area might be flooded by a relatively modest 17-foot rise in sea level (represented by the collapse of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet), or a more severe 170-foot rise, represented by the collapse of the Eastern Antarctic Ice Sheet. By comparing present-day coastline positions with those from the peak glacial advance 20,000 years ago, it is possible to appreciate how much water is contained in glaciers, the importance of monitoring their condition, and the impact accelerated global warming could one day have on sea level. A background essay and list of discussion questions are also provided.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
  • Visual:
    • Visualization - scientific
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Climatology
  • Cryology
  • Environmental science
Technical requirements:
Flash player
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Source: NOVA Online, "Mountain of Ice", William Haxby, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Copyright 2002-2006, WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-009-793
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
    • 9-12:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: WGBH Educational Foundation