How extreme can ocean waves be?

Grade level: 4th – 6th grades

Skills: Measurement (Length) 

Related environmental issues: Climate Change

A research found that extreme ocean winds and wave heights have been increasing around the world over the last 30 years. The researchers warned that we would see more serious and frequent coastal flooding in the future if this trend continues.

  1. During extreme storms, ocean waves can be 20 meters high. 1 meter is equal to 3.28 feet. What is the wave height in feet?
  2. The height of each story of building is around 14 feet. The height of the extreme is as tall as how many story building?





Answer keys

  1. 65.6 feet (20 x 3.28 = 65.6)
  2. 5 story building (65.6 ÷ 14 = 4.69)

An Effect of rapidly melting permafrost

Grade level: 6th grades

Skills: Average 

sRelated environmental issues: Climate Change

It was reported that the temperature in the Arctic is the warmest in more than 10,000 years and it resulted in rapidly melting permafrost, soil that remains frozen year round. Due to the warmer temperature, the number of thaw slumps on Banks Island in Canada increased from 63 in 1984 to 4,077 in 2019. Those researchers predict that Banks Island will have 10,000 new slumps by 2085 if current climate warming continues.  Permafrost thaw could accelerate climate warming by releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.*

Permafrost (Climate State)

  1. Between 1984 and 2019, how many did the number of thaw slumps increase per year on average? Round to the nearest whole number.
  2. Between 2019 and 2085, according to the prediction, how many will the number of thaw slumps increase per year on average? Round to the nearest whole number. 

*Note) Permafrost is soil that remains frozen year round. Due to its frozen state, organic matter in permafrost soils experience little decomposition by soil microbes. As a result, permafrost soils in high latitude ecosystems currently store twice as much carbon as is currently present in the atmosphere. More than 50% of global terrestrial carbon is stored in permafrost regions. Permafrost thaw stimulates the microbial decomposition of soil organic matter. This decomposition results in releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.






Answer keys

  1. 115    (4077-63) / (2019-1984) = 4014 / 35 = 114.6
  2. 90   (10000 – 4077) / (2085 – 2019) = 5923 / 66 = 89.7