In this activity, students calculate temperatures during a time in the geologic record when rapid warming occurred using a well known method called 'leaf-margin analysis.' Students determine the percentage of the species that have leaves with smooth edges, as opposed to toothed, or jagged, edges. Facsimiles of fossil leaves from two collection sites are examined, categorized, and the data is plugged into an equation to provide an estimate of paleotemperature for two sites in the Bighorn Basin. It also introduces students to a Smithsonian scientist who worked on the excavation sites and did the analysis.
This video describes how field research -- in this case, making water measurements in rugged mountain locations -- helps us to understand the complex relationships among changing climate, populations, and water usage.
This short cartoon video uses a simple baseball analogy (steroid use increases probability of hitting home runs) to explain how small increases in greenhouse gases can cause global temperature changes and increase the probability of extreme weather events.
This short, engaging video created by NASA presents a complex topic via a simple analogy. The idea of positive and negative feedback is demonstrated by Daisyworld - a world with black and white flowers growing on it.
This video describes how concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies reflect and collect solar energy to generate electricity. This video explains what CSP is, how it works, and focuses on parabolic troughs.
This video shows where and how ice cores are extracted from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), cut, packaged, flown to the ice core storage facility in Denver, further sliced into samples, and shipped to labs all over the world where scientists use them to study indicators of climate change from the past.
This simulation provides scenarios for exploring the principles of climate dynamics from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Inter-connections among climate issues, public stakeholders and the governance spheres are investigated through creative simulations designed to support learners' understanding of international climate change negotiations.
Students investigate how much greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide and methane) their family releases into the atmosphere each year and relate it to climate change. To address this, students use the Environmental Protection Agency Personal Emissions Calculator to estimate their family's greenhouse gas emissions and to think about how their family could reduce those emissions.
In this activity, students collect weather data over several days or weeks, graph temperature data, and compare the temperature data collected with long-term climate averages from where they live. Understanding the difference between weather and climate and interpreting local weather data are important first steps to understanding larger-scale global climate changes.