In this activity learners investigate the link between ocean temperatures and hurricane intensity, analyze instrumental and historical data, and explore possible future changes.
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Create directions and/or a worksheet for students to better guide them through the map creation and hypothesis testing.
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Provide a rubric or checklist of grading criteria.
Students create and analyze a Sea Surface Height (SSH) map to discover the relationship between hurricane intensity and surface temperatures during a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.
Students then formulate and test hypotheses about how the global warming of the last century may have affected hurricane intensity using historical data.
Data are provided from Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research.
Activity is written in such a way that it can be updated to current date (and data sources are also updated).
Comments from expert scientist: This activity gives students the opportunity to use actual data collections to demonstrate the difficulties in detecting Hurricane trends for themselves. Students do a composite analysis which provides training in independent data analysis.
Hurricanes and climate change are topics that will likely engage students.
Links to types of student assessment are provided, but there is no specific assessment related to this lesson.
There are no student or teacher directions about how to specifically use the Center for Astrodynamics Research site and generate the map.
All data are provided in links and will be updated each year.
No handout is available to provide assignment instructions.
As of October 2016, the link to SSH data at the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics was down as the site was hacked over the summer. If the link in the activity does not work, do a search for the data to either find a replacement, or to see if the same data exists with a new URL.