June 12, 2014

How does El Niño affect U.S. winter temperature and precipitation?

In this classroom activity, students access sea surface temperature and wind speed data from a NASA site, plot and compare data, draw conclusions about surface current and sea surface temperature, and link their gained understanding to concerns about global climate change.

This simulation allows the user to project CO2 sources and sinks by adjusting the points on a graph and then running the simulation to see projections for the impact on atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures.

In this activity, students learn about sea ice extent in both polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic). They start out by forming a hypothesis on the variability of sea ice, testing the hypothesis by graphing real data from a recent 3-year period to learn about seasonal variations and over a 25-year period to learn about longer-term trends, and finish with a discussion of their results and predictions.

This qualitative graphic illustrates the various factors that affect the amount of solar radiation hitting or being absorbed by Earth's surface such as aerosols, clouds, and albedo.

This is a video that discusses how climate feedbacks influence global warming.

This audio slideshow/video describes the Greenland ice sheet and the difficulties in getting scientific measurements at the interface between the ice and the ocean. It features the work of a researcher from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute researcher. She gives a personal account of her work on the recent increase in melting of glaciers, the challenges of working in Greenland, and the reasons why so many climate scientists are looking there for answers to questions about climate change.

This video highlights research conducted at Woods Hole on how heat absorbed by the ocean and changes of ocean chemistry from human activities could lead to a tipping point for marine life and ecosystems. Includes ice bath experiment that models the tipping point of Arctic sea ice.

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.