Arctic Happenings - Global Impacts of the Melting Greenland Ice Sheet and Melting Sea Ice

In the Arctic region, global climate change is quickly transforming the environment. Melting of the Greenland ice sheet and loss of Arctic Ocean sea ice are two processes that have increased dramatically since the late 20th century. Here, we present a four-part educational module focused on these two processes designed for upper middle school, high school and undergraduate students. Through this investigative module students learn critical science skills as they collect, analyze and draw conclusions from data and engage with some of the most urgent environmental questions of our time. Finally, they are challenged to think about how these changes are affecting their lives and the lives of others around the globe. All the digital materials for this module are freely available online, and includes rich video and data resources, and step-by-step instructions. 

Development team

Asa Rennermalm, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Geography, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Margaret Holzer, Ph.D. Teacher, Chatham High school, New Jersey

Peter Sinclair, videographer.

Current Publications

Arctic Happenings - Global Impacts of the Melting Greenland Ice Sheet and Melting Sea Ice

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation 

Message to GIFT workshop participants

Before the workshop, please install ImageJ on your computer. Download instructions are here

Also download the Activity 2 dataset here

Teaching material

Lecture powerpoint 

Teacher Instructions

Activity 1: My burning Feet (Engage)

Activity 1 Worksheet

Activity 2: From burning feet to the Greenland Ice Sheet: Examining model estimates of Greenland ice sheet mass loss, its drivers, and its impact on global sea levels (Explore & Explain)

Activity 2  Worksheet 

The dataset for Activity 2 is here

The student report document template is here

Activity 3: Should I Move Inland? What About Others Around the World - Should They Move to Higher Ground? (Elaborate)

Activity 3 Worksheet

Activity 4: How Does Melting Arctic Ice (sea ice & ice sheets) Impact the Climate Where I live? (Evaluate)

Activity 4 Worksheet

Videos resources

What does Greenland look like? Get a short tour here.

Video about why everyone should care about climate change in the Arctic is here.

Meet four scientists uncovering the secrets of Greenland ice sheet in four short videos (approximately 2:30 min)

Rohi Muthyala explains why we all need to care about the fate of Greenland ice sheet here

Vena Chu takes us on a tour from the surface of ice sheet to the ocean

Asa Rennermalm has collected data about Greenland stream flow over 10 years

Sasha Leidman is studying streams on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet