The low ice extent recorded this September continued the downward trend seen over the last 30 years. Meanwhile, scientists are finding that the ice cover has grown thinner, making it more vulnerable to melting during the summer.
At the highest point atop the Greenland Ice Sheet, Matthew Shupe and his colleagues are installing a suite of climate and weather instruments. Their goal is to better understand the role of clouds in the rapid warming observed across the Arctic region.
This is a multi-step activity that helps students measure, investigate, and understand the increase in atmospheric CO2 and the utility of carbon offsets. It also enables students to understand that carbon offsets, through reforestation, are not sufficient to balance increases in atmospheric C02 concentration.
In this worksheet-based activity, students review global visualizations of incoming sunlight and surface temperature and discuss seasonal change. Students use the visualizations to support inquiry on the differences in seasonal change in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and how land and water absorb and release heat differently. The activity culminates in an argument about why one hemisphere experiences warmer summers although it receives less total solar energy.