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.

In this activity, students use datasets from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres to observe seasonal and hemispheric differences in changes to atmospheric C02 release and uptake over time.

This short video, adapted from NOVA, explains how Earth's position relative to the Sun might be responsible for the dramatic shift in the climate of what is now the Saharan nation of Djibouti.

This is an interactive graph that involves records of ice cover in two Wisconsin lakes - Lake Mendota and Lake Monona - from 1855-2010.

This video montage of spectacular NASA satellite images set to music shows different types of ice and ice features as well as descriptions of satellite-based measurements of ice cover. Text captioning describes how global ice cover is changing, and how this is measured.

This video discusses the social and economic impacts (worldwide and in the US) of sea level rise caused by global warming (aired April 1, 2011).
Note: you may need to scroll down the Changing Planet video page to get to this video.

Coral Reefs in Hot Water is a short video displaying computerized data collected on the number of reefs impacted by coral bleaching around the world.

This interactive visualization describes how climatologists obtain and interpret evidence from the Greenland Ice Sheet in an effort to piece together a picture of Earth's distant climate history. Resource describes how glaciers form and how they can be used to collect ancient atmospheric data. The issues analyzed in the data collection are particularly good in showing how science is done in the field.

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