Measuring and Modeling Climate Resources

collapse Topic : Causes of Climate Change ‎(2)
Cyclical and Natural Changes
Human-Caused Changes
collapse Topic : Climate System ‎(12)
Atmospheric Circulation
Atmospheric Composition
Carbon Cycle
Climate Compared to Weather
Climate Feedbacks
Global Energy Balance
Greenhouse Effect
Ocean and Climate
Orbital Cycles
Regional Climates
Solar Radiation
Water Cycle
collapse Topic : Human Responses to Climate Change ‎(3)
Personal Responsibility
Risk Management
Social Values
collapse Topic : Impacts of Climate Change ‎(13)
Agricultural Changes
Economic Impacts
Ecosystem Changes
Extreme Weather
Freshwater Resources
Great Lakes Impacts
Melting Ice and Permafrost
Ocean Warming and Acidification
Plants and Animals
Public Health
Sea Level Rise
Surface Temperature Warming
collapse Topic : Measuring and Modeling Climate ‎(2)
Climate Modeling
Gathering and Measuring Climate Data

Climate Modeling


Global Ozone (GO3) Project. Grades 6-12. In the GO3 Project high school students throughout the world measure ground-level ozone on a continuous basis and upload their results to the Google Earth map. Measurements are made with high accuracy using sophisticated ozone monitors constructed by the students from kits and tested and calibrated on a frequent basis using a transfer standard.

A Teacher's Guide to How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Lessons, Resources, and Guidelines about Global Warming by Carol N. Malnor. Dawn Publications/Nevada City, CA. (2008). Grades 5-8. Using the book How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate, this guide helps teachers explore global warming through engaging lessons and classroom activities. Suggestions are provided to differentiate instruction and conduct project-based learning. Lessons and activities are correlated to science standards.

Getting to the Core of Climate Change. Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic. Grades 6-12. This is a lab about evidence for past climate change as captured in ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Students investigate climate changes going back thousands of years by graphing and analyzing ice core data from both Greenland and Antarctica. They use information about natural and human-caused changes in the atmosphere to formulate predictions about Earth's climate.

Why is Carbon Importatnt? NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Grades 9-12. Students explore the carbon cycle and the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature. Students create and compare graphs of carbon dioxide and temperature data from one local (Mauna Loa, Hawaii) meteorological station and one NASA global data set. These graphs, as well as a global vegetation map and an atmospheric wind circulation patterns diagram, are used as evidence to support the scientific claims they develop through their analysis and interpretation.

Envisioning Climate Change Using a Global Climate Model. Earth Exploration Toolbook from SERC. Grades 9-12. This long classroom activity introduces students to a climate modeling software. Students visualize how temperature and snow coverage might change over the next 100 years. They run a 'climate simulation' to establish a baseline for comparison, do an 'experimental' simulation and compare the results. Students will then choose a region of their own interest to explore and compare the results with those documented in the IPCC impact reports. Students will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the process and power of climate modeling.

March of the Polar Bears: Global Change, Sea Ice, and Wildlife Migration. My NASA Data Lesson Plans. Grades 6-12. Students use NASA satellite data to study changes in temperature and snow-ice coverage in the South Beaufort Sea, Alaska. They will then correlate the data with USGS ground tracking of polar bears and relate their findings to global change, sea ice changes, and polar bear migration and survival.

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming. Lynn Cherry and Gary Braasch. Dawn Publications (CA) 2010. Grades 9-12. Cherry and Braasch introduce readers to scientists around the world whose research contributes to an understanding of the causes and consequences of global warming. They also describe the work of citizen scientists, including children, whose observations contribute to knowledge about important changes that are occurring. Studies range from documenting bloom dates of trees and flowers to extracting mud cores from the ocean floor. Small color photographs show the fieldwork and experiments of scientists and students. Even though many findings indicate a grim outlook for plant and animal life, including humans, if the current trends continue, the authors consistently note ways in which students can have a positive impact by making personal choices and influencing public policy.

Climate Models. Teachers Domain. Grades 6-12. In this video by ThinkTV, explore the many uses of climate models and see a visualization of a global climate model. Models are tools scientists use to see patterns and trends.


What's Up with the Weather? Grades 5-8. PBS. NOVA and FRONTLINE join forces to investigate the science and politics of one of the most controversial issues of the 21st century: the truth about global warming. Topics include climate background, the potential impacts of climate change, and the relationships between our actions and the global climate. Also includes a classroom activity on finding trends in raw temperature data.

Scientific American Frontiers: Hot Planet - Cold Comfort by John Angies. PBS Home Video. (2005). Grades 6-12. This episode explores the freshening of the oceans and how this addition of freshwater could have an effect on global climate. It explains how ocean "conveyor belts" are currents that bring warm water up from the equator to cool in the northern latitudes, then to return to warmer waters. It also looks at some of the methods scientists use to gather evidence about the freshening of the oceans, such as sediment core samples, and measuring the melting of glaciers. Also, it discusses previous abrupt changes in global climate.


Discovery of Global Warming, The by Spencer Weart. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (2003). In 2001 an international panel of distinguished climate scientists announced that the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The story of how scientists reached that conclusion—by way of unexpected twists and turns—was the story Spencer Weart told in The Discovery of Global Warming. Now he brings his award-winning account up to date, revised throughout to reflect the latest science and with a new conclusion that shows how the scientific consensus caught fire among the general world public, and how a new understanding of the human meaning of climate change spurred individuals and governments to action.

General Web Resources

Vulcan Project. Purdue University. The Vulcan Project has created maps and analysis of CO2 emissions for the continental U.S. from power plants, industrial sources, roads and highways, and residential sources. Each projection shows the location and magnitude of emissions. Students can compare the who, what, and where of CO2 emissions. Ask students to analyze the plots and decide which regions' sources are the greatest contributors to CO2 in the atmosphere. They can then make comparisons and formulate questions and hypotheses. This is a great use of real/current data in class that helps students answer the question "how do they know this stuff?" The Vulcan (Roman God of fire) site also includes a video showing diurnal cycles of carbon emissions and a Google Earth application.

Climate Prediction Center. National Weather Service. The Climate Prediction Center produces educational materials to help students better understand the role of the climate system in our lives through the use of climate forecasts. Key Indicators/Evidence.

Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet by NASA. NASA’s Key Indicators and Evidence pages provide up to date data on carbon dioxide levels, global surface temperature, arctic sea ice, land ice, and sea level. Viewing these trends provides valuable visual evidence and data that allows students to better understand scientific opinion related to climate change.

Going Local with Global Warming. PBS Teachers professional development module. The majority of Americans do not believe that climate change will affect them personally. This lesson investigates evidence for contemporary climate change by examining multi-year weather and phenological (seasonal observational data) records obtained locally from several localities in the U.S. Plot and identify trends in local weather data, learn the difference between weather and climate and explore the pedagogic advantages associated with learning about global climate change through examination of data obtained at the community level. References national standards.