Authors' Response


We would like to thank the journal editors for the opportunity to clarify the points that Mr. Gillette brings up, as we want to ensure that we are not contributing to misinformation regarding climate change. While what we said is not technically wrong, we can see how readers could make an incorrect inference regarding sea ice and sea-level rise given our text. It is correct that the melting of sea ice will not cause sea level to rise. Warming climates do cause a reduction in sea ice, an expansion of ocean water, and an addition to ocean water from the melting of land-based ice sheets and glaciers (Meier et al. 2007). We should have stated the following on page 80 of our paper:

  "Students then navigate to the Arctic to view changes in sea-ice
  extent from 1979 to 2010. Students will have been presented
  background information about climate models and learn that
  [their results show that increased melting of glaciers on land
  will lead to increasing sea-level rise due to warming atmospheric
  temperatures. This warming also reduces floating Arctic sea ice.]
  Students are then instructed to display and measure the area of
  Arctic Ocean sea ice during three years: 1979, 1990, and 2010."

We specifically chose to focus on the high-latitude Arctic environment and tropical coral reefs, as these are well-classified climate hot spots (Hare et al, 2011). It is important that students recognize that our warming climate has already caused significant global effects, such as a large reduction in the amount of high-latitude land and sea ice, and a degradation of low-latitude coral reefs. …

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