This activity involves plotting and comparing monthly data on atmospheric C02 concentrations over two years, as recorded in Mauna Loa and the South Pole, and postulating reasons for differences in their seasonal patterns. Longer-term data is then examined for both sites to see if seasonal variations from one site to the other carry over into longer term trends.

Two graphs from the NASA Climate website illustrate the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures. The NASA plot is annotated with temperature-impacting historic events, which nicely connect an otherwise challenging graphic to real-world events.

This color-coded map displays a progression of changing five-year average global surface temperatures anomalies from 1880 through 2010. The final frame represents global temperature anomalies averaged from 2006 to 2010. The temperature anomalies are computed relative to the base period 1951-1980.

This activity introduces students to plotting and analyzing phenology data. Students use 30 years of data that shows the date of the first lilac bloom and the number of days of ice cover of nearby Gull Lake.

This interactive shows the extent of the killing of lodgepole pine trees in western Canada. The spread of pine beetle throughout British Columbia has devastated the lodgepole pine forests there. This animation shows the spread of the beetle and the increasing numbers of trees affected from 1999-2008 and predicts the spread up until 2015.

This web page from the National Snow and Ice Data Center contains two related visualizations and supporting information about them. The first visualization gives an estimate of the percent contribution to sea level change since the 1990s from three contributors - small glaciers and ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The second visualization shows the cumulative contribution to sea level from small glaciers and ice caps plotted with the annual global surface air temperature anomaly.

May 31, 2017

In mid-March, a cold air outbreak brought freezing temperatures to the Southeast devastating crops and causing over $1 billion in agricultural losses. For those of us who love fruit this is bad news. In this Beyond the Data post, we explain  why it was so devastating even though freezing temperatures in mid-March aren’t that unusual for the Southeast.

October 25, 2016

What are NOAA's predictions for this possible La Niña winter of 2016-17, and how did its predictions for last winter fare during the strong El Niño? Guest blogger Mike Halpert gives us the lowdown.

This video features residents of Shishmaref, Alaska, plus environmental journalist Elizabeth Kolbert and scientist John Holdren, exploring the human impacts of global climate change.

In this activity, students consider Greenland reflectivity changes from 2000 to 2012 and what albedo anomalies may indicate about how the Greenland ice sheet is changing in a case study format.

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