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 from NOAA's Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, learners investigate how methane hydrates might have been involved with the Cambrian explosion.

In this activity students work with data to analyze local and global temperature anomaly data to look for warming trends. The activity focuses on the Great Lakes area.

Two short, narrated animations about carbon dioxide and Earth's temperature are presented on this webpage. The first animation shows the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, human carbon emissions, and global temperature rise of the past 1,000 years; the second shows changes in the level of CO2 from 800,000 years ago to the present.

In this activity, students use maps and data to learn about where and how hurricanes form and possible correlations with climate change affecting their strength.

In this activity, students estimate the drop in sea level during glacial maxima, when ice and snow in high latitudes and altitudes resulted in lower sea levels. Students estimate the surface area of the world's oceans, use ice volume data to approximate how much sea levels dropped, and determine the sea-level rise that would occur if the remaining ice melted.

This lesson sequence guides students to learn about the geography and the unique characteristics of the Arctic, including vegetation, and people who live there. Students use Google Earth to explore the Arctic and learn about meteorological observations in the Arctic, including collecting their own data in hands-on experiments. This is the first part of a three-part curriculum about Arctic climate.

This interactive lets students determine the extent of average temperature change both in their community and anywhere else in the world, relative to average temperatures for the three decades between 1951 and 1980.

In this jigsaw activity, students explore meteorological data collected from Eureka, Canada to try to decide when would be the best time for an Arctic visit.