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 activity is part of the Antarctica's Climate Secrets flexhibit. Students learn about and create models of glaciers and ice sheets, ice shelves, icebergs and sea ice.

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

This interactive visualization depicts sea surface temperatures (SST) and SST anomalies from 1885 to 2007. Learn all about SST and why SST data are highly valuable to ocean and atmospheric scientists. Understand the difference between what actual SST readings can reveal about local weather conditions and how variations from normalâcalled anomaliesâcan help scientists identify warming and cooling trends and make predictions about the effects of global climate change. Discover the relationships between SST and marine life, sea ice formation, local and global weather events, and sea level.

This data viewing tool from NOAA is highly engaging and offers nearly instant access to dozens of datasets about Earth. Users select from atmosphere, ocean, land, cryosphere, and climate, and drill down from there into more detailed categories.

This visualization shows in five steps how ice cores provide a measure of the temperature in the past.

This video discusses carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere that have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels in electricity generation, transportation, and industrial processes. Video includes history of Keeling and his research, as well as the seasonal fluctuations in CO2.

In this activity, students compare carbon dioxide data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow, Alaska, and the South Pole over the past 40 years. Students use the data to learn about what causes short-term and long-term changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide. This activity makes extensive use of Excel.

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.