According to a recent study by NASA, the rise of the oceans caused by the melting of glaciers is temporarily slowed down by the thirsty Earth, which absorbs some of this additional water.

“As glaciers melt and ocean levels rise, the increasingly hotter and drier land surface absorbs some of this extra water, according to a NASA study released today. Satellite surveys carried out over the past ten years show for the first time that the continents have absorbed and stored an additional 3,200 billion tonnes of water in their soils, lakes and underground aquifers (porous rocks), specifies this study published in the newspaper Science. "

Source: Le Figaro

Let's discover this particular phenomenon in order to understand its impacts on the planet.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Understand the results of a NASA study on rising oceans;
- Observe and understand the water cycle;
- Design a poster to raise awareness of global warming and its impacts on sea level.

Suggested activities

ACTIVITY 1: The Earth is thirsty!

First, ask students what they know about rising sea levels. What is it mainly caused by?

Tell students that there is a particular phenomenon that slows down the rise in water levels caused by melting glaciers. As a whole class, consult next article in order to understand why the Earth is absorbing extra water.

Ask the following questions to check students' understanding:

- What instruments have scientists used to discover that the Earth absorbs water?
- In which periodical was the study published?
- To what do we compare the Earth to explain that it absorbs water?
- Is this absorption phenomenon a solution to stem the effects of rising oceans?
Finally, locate Lake Huron on a world map or by using Google maps.

ACTIVITY 2: The water cycle

In order to understand how the water cycle works, as a whole class watch this animation from eduMedia:

ACTIVITY 3: Slow the rising oceans

Suggest that the students design an advertising campaign to educate students in the school about the issue of rising oceans.

Invite them to learn more about this phenomenon by consulting library resources as well as the Internet. Then, they can create posters that present measures to be taken in order to reduce global warming which is causing glaciers to melt.

More about the magazine

Sea level rise
Wikipedia article

Sea Levels Will Rise One Meter Within 100-200 Years, NASA Says
Radio-Canada article, August 26, 2015

Climate change
M taTerre website

The water cycle
Allô prof website

Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.


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