Mercury Rising


After students finished today’s MCAS testing, we did a short lesson investigating one of the effects of Global Warming: sea-level rise.

In reality, predicting sea-level rise is complicated. It includes density calculations, thermal expansion, and modeling sloped shorelines. However, a rough estimate can be obtained using simple geometry. Calculate the volume of ice in Antarctica, divide by the surface area of Earth’s oceans, and you have your answer.

The students found that, if Antarctica melted, sea-levels worldwide would rise about 230 feet. This would mean disastrous consequences for much of the world. In fact, all of New York City, Boston, Cape Cod, and Florida would likely be underwater. This isn’t expected to happen any time soon, given the current warming trends. But it just goes to show you the importance of studying an issue like Global Warming.

May 10-11 – Mercury Rising (pg706)

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