Using real data from NASA's GRACE satellites, students will track water mass changes in the U.S., data that measures changes in ice, surface and especially groundwater. The background information includes an animated video about where water exists and how it moves around Earth, as well as short video clips to introduce the GRACE mission and explain how satellites collect data. Students will estimate water resources using heat-map data, create a line graph for a specific location, then assess trends and discuss implications.

This video features Katharine Hayhoe presenting a lively discussion of impacts that the Midwestern US is experiencing due to climate change. It steps through evidence for how climate change is affecting agriculture, tourism, drought and flood, water cycles and freshwater availability, the spread of invasive species and disease, as well as other topics.

This easy-to-understand video animation describes drought and explains the different categories of drought used by the drought monitor. It discusses the effects of and contributions to drought, what the implications of the different drought levels are, and puts the drought maps into context to understand how the impacts vary geographically (e.g. drought in Nevada vs Kansas - one could affect tourism, the other agriculture). It also touches on how the development of maps/drought severity is determined and how it might vary geographically.

This is a extensive collection of maps, data, and tools that students can use to research drought and its impacts on agriculture, wildfires, water supply, vegetation, soil moisture, temperature and precipitation.

This activity addresses climate change impacts that affect all states that are part of the Colorado River Basin and are dependent on its water. Students examine available data, the possible consequences of changes to various user groups, and suggest solutions to adapt to these changes.

NOAA Climate Stewards webinar
March 2, 2015

Kevin Werner, NOAA’s Western Region Climate Services Director will describe the water resources environment in the Western United States including the impact of climate change. He will also describe his own experience working with decision makers...

This video takes viewers high into the Rocky Mountain snowpack, where researchers dig snow pits to explore the source of Colorado's water supply. Highlights the importance of snowpack on the supply of fresh water available in western and southwestern states. Snowmelt dynamics are discussed, including the impact of a warming climate.

This is an interactive map of California and the Sierra Nevada mountains, showing how the amount of water stored in the snowpack will vary under different climate scenarios. The tool shows observations and projections from 1950 to 2090, and uses low or high emission scenarios to model future snowpack. The tool can be adjusted to show different months of the year and various climate models, graphed by site.