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In this activity students will observe that the sea level changes and will hypothesize what causes this change. They will then check their hypothesis with a data set. Many students are surprised to learn that sea level is not the same everywhere on earth and that it changes with the seasons. The main cause of this change is the temperature change in the ocean - warmer waters are higher than colder waters. Students will discover this information as they complete the activity and then see if the temperature effect holds true on another data set showing temperature and sea height changes caused by the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
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