This sequence of activities using real-world data to explain the importance of coral reefs and the relationship of coral reef health to the surrounding environment. Unit includes five activities.

This video focuses on the conifer forest in Alaska to explore the carbon cycle and how the forest responds to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Topics addressed in the video include wildfires, reflectivity, and the role of permafrost in the global carbon cycle.

This video addresses the impact of climate change on several butterfly populations. Warming temperatures lead to shifts in location of populations of butterflies or die-offs of populations unable to adapt to changing conditions or shift to new locations.

In this video from the Polaris Project Website, American and Siberian university students describe their research on permafrost.

This video describes why tropical ice cores are important and provide different information than polar ice cores, why getting them now is important (they are disappearing), and how scientists get them. The work of glaciologist Lonnie Thompson is featured, with a focus on his work collecting cores of ice from high mountain glaciers that contain significant data about past climate change.

This video documents how scientists, using marine algae, can study climate change in the past to help understand potential effects of climate change in the future.

This activity covers the role that the oceans may play in climate change and how climate change may affect the oceans. It is lesson 8 in a nine-lesson module Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

This narrated animation displays three separate graphs of carbon emissions by humans, atmospheric concentrations of CO2, and average global temperature as it has changed over the last 1000 years. The final slide overlays the three graphs to show how they all correspond.

In this activity, students will use oxygen isotope values of two species of modern coral to reconstruct ambient water temperature over a four-year period. They use Microsoft Excel, or similar application, to create a spreadsheet of temperature values calculated from the isotope values of the corals by means of an algebraic equation. Students then use correlation and regression techniques to determine whether isotope records can be considered to be good proxies for records of past temperatures.

Students conduct a greenhouse gas emission inventory for their college or university as a required part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

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