b. Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.

This animated map shows prevailing surface wind direction and strength across the United States.

This in-depth interactive slideshow about how climate models work is embedded with a lot of background information. It also describes some of the projected climate change impacts to key sectors such as water, ecosystems, food, coasts, health. (scroll down page for interactive)

This video is part two of a seven-part National Academies series, Climate Change: Lines of Evidence. The video outlines, with the use of recent research and historical data, how we know that the Earth is warming.

In this video segment, adapted from Navajo Technical College, two Navajo Elders speak about climate change and differences in the environment that they have observed.

This video features the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment Experiment near Cheyenne WY, where scientists expose mixed-grass prairie to higher temperatures and CO2 concentrations to study impacts on the prairie for late in this century.

This is an interactive graph that involves records of ice cover in two Wisconsin lakes - Lake Mendota and Lake Monona - from 1855-2010.

This lesson explores El Nino by looking at sea surface temperature, sea surface height, and wind vectors in order to seek out any correlations there may be among these three variables, using the My NASA Data Live Access Server. The lesson guides the students through data representing the strong El Nino from 1997 to 1998. In this way, students will model the methods of researchers who bring their expertise to study integrated science questions.

This video discusses the social and economic impacts (worldwide and in the US) of sea level rise caused by global warming (aired April 1, 2011).

This video examines the thawing of permafrost due to changes in climate and shows examples of the impacts that warming temperatures have on permafrost in the Arctic, including the release of the greenhouse gas methane. Dramatic results are shown, including sink holes forming on the landscape and beneath buildings, roads, and other infrastructure, causing some communities to relocate.

This short video, adapted from NOVA, explains how Earth's position relative to the Sun might be responsible for the dramatic shift in the climate of what is now the Saharan nation of Djibouti.

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