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Water
Changes in Sea Level



Changes in Sea Level
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.09

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    fee-ord, tectonic, continental, tectonics, margin, volume, emergent, fjords, fjord, coastal, meters, rate, present, however, dramatic, form
     content words:    New York City


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Changes in Sea Level
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Did you know that there have been extreme changes in sea level over the years? What might cause sea level to change? What effects does this have on the earth?
 
2     About 10,000 years ago, Earth was experiencing an ice age. Much of the earth was covered with glaciers. During that time, sea level was about 130 meters lower than it is now. Much of the continental margin was exposed.
 
3     Since that time, much of the ice on Earth has melted. This added more water to the oceans. Sea level has risen. The parts of the continental margin that were exposed are now covered with water.
 
4     Sea level continues to rise slowly. Over the last hundred years it has risen ten to fifteen centimeters. Scientists predict it will rise at the rate of about two millimeters per year. Many feel this is due to global warming.
 
5     Melting ice is not the only reason sea level is rising, however. Earth's surface temperature is increasing. As sea water warms up, it expands. The total volume of the seas increases. At the present rate, sea level could rise another forty centimeters over the next hundred years.

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