b. Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.

This resource is part of a collection of visualizations that illustrate observed changes in temperature, precipitation, storms, floods, and droughts. This resource focuses on US and Global temperature. Rising global average temperature is associated with widespread changes in weather patterns. Scientific studies indicate that extreme weather events such as heat waves and large storms are likely to become more frequent or more intense with human-induced climate change.

This detailed animated map shows global weather and climate events from the beginning of 2009 to the present. As the animation plays, specific events are highlighted to provide context and details for the viewer.

This short, time-lapse video shows the changes in the Columbia Glacier from May 12, 2007 to August 20, 2010. Narration provides general description of the geophysical dynamics and processes.

This series of visualizations show the annual Arctic sea ice minimum from 1979 to 2015. The decrease in Arctic sea ice over time is shown in an animation and a graph plotted simultaneously, but can be parsed so that the change in sea ice area can be shown without the graph.

In this video, a PhD Student from the University of Maine explains how ice cores are used to study global climate change.

This module contains five activities, in increasing complexity, that focus on understanding how to interpret and manipulate sea level data, using real data from NOAA.

This sequence of activities using real-world data to explain the importance of coral reefs and the relationship of coral reef health to the surrounding environment. Unit includes five activities.

This set of interactive data visualizations show the weather and climate events that have had the greatest economic impact on the US from 1980 to 2016.

This tool provides a summary of daily records broken in several weather parameters (temperature, precipitation, snow fall, snow depth), over various time intervals, in the US and globally.

This site provides a useful set of graphical representations of mean temperature change in different land/ocean surfaces over the past 120+ years.