This teaching activity is an introduction to how ice cores from the cryosphere are used as indicators and record-keepers of climate change as well as how climate change will affect the cryosphere. Students learn through a guided web exercise how scientists analyze ice cores to learn about past climate conditions, how melting sea and land ice will contribute to sea level rise, and what areas of the world would be at risk if Antarctic and/or Greenland ice sheets were to melt away.

This short video features the Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network (ALISON project), a citizen science program in which 4th and 5th graders help scientists study the relationship between climate change and lake ice and snow conditions.

In this video from the Polaris Project Website, American and Siberian university students participating in the project describe their research on permafrost.

This is a global land surface air temperature graphic showing four overlapping time-series datasets based on records from 1961 - 2000.

This teaching activity addresses environmental stresses on corals. Students assess coral bleaching using water temperature data from the NOAA National Data Buoy Center. Students learn about the habitat of corals, the stresses on coral populations, and the impact of increased sea surface temperatures on coral reefs. In a discussion section, the connection between coral bleaching and global warming is drawn.

This video features University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher John Magnuson, who studies the ecology of freshwater systems. He explains the difference between weather and climate using data on ice cover from Lake Mendota in Madison, WI. Analysis of the data indicates a long-term trend that can be connected to climate change.

This short video from NASA discusses the role that salinity plays in Earth's climate and ocean circulation, focusing on the observations of the Aquarius satellite.

In this activity, students download historic temperature datasets and then graph and compare with different locations. As an extension, students can download and examine data sets for other sites to compare the variability of changes at different distinct locations, and it is at this stage where learning can be individualized and very meaningful.

This video documents the challenges that climate change presents for four specific Arctic predators: polar bears, Arctic foxes, beluga whales and walruses.

This is a multi-faceted activity that offers students a variety of opportunities to learn about permafrost through an important sink and source of greenhouse gas (methane), about which most students living in lower latitudes know little.

Pages