Entries by Oregon Coast Education Program


Coastal Hazards

Impacts—Coastal Hazards Summary: Extreme weather events have significant impacts on coastal environments, and scientists look for patterns to determine how climate change is affecting the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Storm surges, high winds, and heavy precipitation can alter coastal physical environments, affect water quality, and result in coastal habitat loss. In this […]


ENSO and Climate Variability

Science Concepts—ENSO and Climate Variability Summary: A major source of climate variability in the Pacific Northwest comes from the El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Although ENSO is defined by shifts in ocean currents and winds off the western coast of South America, the resulting changes in sea surface temperature (SST) affects our weather in […]


Ocean Circulation

Science Concepts—Ocean Circulation Summary: Ocean currents redistribute heat around the world and affect the world’s climate. Thermohaline circulation (THC) is a system of both surface and deep currents that transports water through all ocean basins. Complex interactions between wind, the rotation of the earth, temperature and density drives ocean currents and affect weather and climate. […]


Climate vs Weather

Science Concepts—Climate vs Weather Summary: Sometimes people who are trying to understand climate change have asked the question, “How could the planet be warming given that it is so cold outside today?” Weather and climate are not the same thing. Weather is what’s happening outside your window; atmospheric conditions that you can see, feel or […]


Reduce Emissions

Mitigation—Reduce Emissions Summary: Global climate change is caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that come from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels. An important solution to the problem of global climate change is for humans to significantly reduce the amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere. In […]

The Flood Next Time

Planning—The Flood Next Time Summary: In what manner and to what extent are communities preparing for future climate-induced coastal flooding and erosion? Communities are slowly beginning to understand the problem, and are in process of deciding which entities are responsible for planning, implementing and supporting adaptation strategies. This topic guide focuses on some of the […]

Shoreline Structure

Planning—Shoreline Structure Summary: How do different types of shoreline react to flooding and sea level rise? In this topic guide, students learn about various “hard” and “soft” features of coastal shorelines, the role wetlands play to control flooding, and some engineering solutions for absorbing wave energy that could lead to coastal erosion. As a field […]

The New Waterfront

Impacts—The New Waterfront Summary: Climate induced sea level rise can lead to erosion and flooding events that threaten natural and human communities, establish new coastlines, and change ecosystems. What are the predicted impacts of sea level rise for a given area on the Oregon coast? Concepts to teach: Crosscutting Concepts Cause and Effect, Stability and […]

Melting Ice

Impacts—Melting Ice Summary: One indicator of climate change is the increased melting of sea ice and glaciers on land. While many people hold a common misconception that the melting of sea ice will increase sea level, sea ice melting actually contributes very little to sea level rise. In contrast, melting land ice could contribute to […]

Thermal Expansion

Science Concepts—Thermal Expansion Summary: As the ocean’s temperature increases, its volume expands. In this topic guide, students use a model to demonstrate the relationship between water temperature and volume, and then use their findings to describe the impact a warming ocean has on sea level. Concepts to teach: Crosscutting Concepts Structure and Function Disciplinary Core […]