Ocean Activity
Icebergs Ahead

In this ocean activity you will discover how the sea level is affected by icebergs as they melt! Do you know if the oceans will rise, stay the same or get lower if all the ice in the Arctic Ocean melted? Find out in the activity below.

Ocean activity, Icebergs Ahead, Photo by Myrna Martin
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Materials

  • Paper or plastic cup
  • Water
  • Plastic container
  • Marking pen

Directions

  1. Freeze a cup full or water over night to make an iceberg.
  2. The next day fill a plastic container about 3/4 full of water.
  3. Put your iceberg into the container of water.
  4. Make a mark on the side of the plastic container showing exactly where the water level is at the beginning of the activity.
  5. Make a prediction about whether the water level will be higher, lower or the same when the iceberg melts.
  6. After the iceberg has melted look at the mark on the side of the container.
  7. Did you guess correctly what the water level would be after the iceberg melted?
  8. Try this activity several times to verify what happened.

Science behind the activity

The iceberg floated on top of the water because water expands as it turns to ice. When the ice melted it decreases in volume to its original size.

If the ice in the Arctic Ocean melts it will not cause the ocean levels to rise. If the ice on the continent of Antarctica melted sea levels will rise because the water would be running off the continent into the oceans.

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