This video segment describes climate data collection from Greenland ice cores that indicate Earth's climate can change abruptly over a single decade rather than over thousands of years. The narrator describes how Earth has undergone dramatic climate shifts in relatively short spans of time prior to 8000 years ago. The video and accompanying essay provide explanations of the differences between weather and climate and how the climate itself had been unstable in the past, with wide variations in temperature occurring over decadal timescales.

A detailed Google Earth tour of glacier change over the last 50 years introduces this topic in an engaging way. Students are then asked to select from a group of glaciers and create their own Google Earth tour exploring key characteristics and visible changes in that glacier.

This visualization shows static and animated images of changes in Arctic sea ice 1984-2016.

Students will work with short-term and long-term air temperature data in order to better understand the differences between weather and climate.

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.

In this 6-part activity, students learn about climate change during the Cenozoic and the abrupt changes at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary (65.5 million years ago), the Eocene/Oligocene boundary (33.9 million years ago), and the Paleocene/Eocene boundary (55.8 million years ago).

In this activity, students consider Greenland reflectivity changes from 2000 to 2012 and what albedo anomalies may indicate about how the Greenland ice sheet is changing in a case study format.

This easy-to-understand video animation describes drought and explains the different categories of drought used by the drought monitor. It discusses the effects of and contributions to drought, what the implications of the different drought levels are, and puts the drought maps into context to understand how the impacts vary geographically (e.g. drought in Nevada vs Kansas - one could affect tourism, the other agriculture). It also touches on how the development of maps/drought severity is determined and how it might vary geographically. The animation provides a basic overview of statistics and percentiles and the concept of '100 year events.'

Climate has varied in the past, but today's climate change rate is much more drastic due to human activity. Students explore past climate cycle graphs and compare the cycles with the current rate of change.

In this activity, students download historic temperature datasets and then graph and compare with different locations. As an extension, students can download and examine data sets for other sites to compare the variability of changes at different distinct locations, and it is at this stage where learning can be individualized and very meaningful.