GLOBE Connections

GLOBE Connections: Sea Level Rise

My NASA Data - Sea Surface Height Anomaly - June 18, 2018

GLOBE protocols and learning activities that complement the Sea Level Rise phenomenon are outlined below.

Sea Level Rise

As we explore sea level rise around the world, new questions arise. One such question is what is driving the regional differences in sea level rise. In some parts of the world sea levels are increasing, while in other parts of the world, sea levels are decreasing or remaining relatively constant, including, in recent decades, the California coast.

Glacier and land ice melt can also be regionally different. While the ice sheets of Greenland, Antarctica and most of the world’s glaciers are melting, a distinction must be made between increased glacial discharge into the oceans due to global warming, a more permanent type of ice loss, and regional changes in the precipitation and evaporation that is feeding those glaciers and ice sheets, which vary regionally on the scale of decades.


GLOBE protocols are used to collect data looking at factors that might contribute to sea-level rise. Students can implement the protocols to collect data and share their data with other GLOBE students around the world. 

  • pH Protocol - Students use either a pH meter or pH paper to measure the pH of water. If using the pH meter, the meter needs to be calibrated with buffer solutions that have pH values of 4, 7, and 10.  
  • Salinity Protocol - Students use a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of the water sample, and use a thermometer to measure the temperature. With these two values, students will use tables to determine the salinity.
  •  Water Temperature Protocol - Students use a thermometer or probe to measure the temperature of the water.

Learning Activities

overview page
Source: GLOBE Website

Building a Thermometer: Students construct a soda-bottle thermometer, which is similar to the thermometer used by GLOBE schools. Both are based on the principle that most substances expand and contract as their temperature changes. This experiment also demonstrates the principle of heat transfer. The thermometer can be used to measure water temperature.