This series of two lessons uses cutting-edge scientific research on the effects of climate change on communities in the intertidal. Through a combination of a dynamic presentation and several videos, students are introduced to the effects of climate change on the ocean (ocean acidification and temperature increase) and what is known about how ocean organisms are affected. Then students read and interpret graphs and construct a scientific explanation based on data from this research.

In this activity, students conduct a short hands-on demonstration that simulates ocean acidification resulting from excess atmospheric carbon dioxide and discuss potential implications of increases in ocean temperatures and acidification due to climate change.

In this video, students see how data from the ice core record is used to help scientists predict the future of our climate. Video features ice cores extracted from the WAIS Divide, a research station on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

This video uses film of the Arctic and Arctic researchers as well as animations to discuss feedbacks in the Arctic climate system related to sea ice, the ocean, and clouds. It explains concepts such as albedo and positive and negative feedbacks. The narrative includes discussion of current research and a summary which explains why understanding feedbacks is important.

This video discusses the social and economic impacts (worldwide and in the US) of sea level rise caused by global warming (aired April 1, 2011).
Note: you may need to scroll down the Changing Planet video page to get to this video.

In this activity, students examine the effects of hurricanes on sea surface temperature using NASA data. They examine authentic sea surface temperature data to explore how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean surface.

This unit allows students to investigate past changes in Earth's climate. Students first explore relationships in climate data such as temperature, solar radiation, carbon dioxide, and biodiversity. They then investigate solar radiation in more depth to learn about changes over time such as seasonal shifts. Students then learn about mechanisms for exploring past changes in Earth's climate such as ice cores, tree rings, fossil records, etc. Finally, students tie all these together by considering the feedbacks throughout the Earth system and reviewing an article on a past mass extinction event.

This short video from NASA discusses the role that salinity plays in Earth's climate and ocean circulation, focusing on the observations of the Aquarius satellite.

This module contains five activities, in increasing complexity, that focus on understanding how to interpret and manipulate sea level data, using real data from NOAA.

Students first need to understand how to access and interpret sea surface height and tide data. To understand how to interpret these data, students will review and practice computing mean values. Along the way, they will learn how different factors, such as storms, affect tide levels and how to measure them. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry.

This is a full color, worldwide, animated weather map using GIS interface showing current and projected wind and other weather conditions for any location in the world. Data can be viewed at different spatial scales.

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