Showing posts with label Climate Science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Science. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Educational Resources from the National Snow and Ice Data Center

There is at least 18" of fresh snow in my yard this evening so it feels like a good time to tell you about some educational resources from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder offers some good educational resources related to snow, ice, and environmental science. NSIDC's education center offers sections dedicated to educating students about glaciers, sea ice, snow, and arctic climatology. Most of the resources in the education center are text-based sequences of articles.

Outside of the education center NSIDC offers a large gallery of Google Earth files that you can use to learn about snow, ice, and climate change around the world. NSIDC offers an image gallery containing images captured from research expeditions around the world as well as satellite imagery. Some of the images from the expeditions are simply amazing.

Applications for EducationThe National Snow and Ice Data Center could be a good resource for students of environmental science. The education center is a good primer on snow, ice, and glaciers, but the real value for me lies in the Google Earth files gallery. Contained in the Google Earth files gallery are tours and time lapse imagery that puts the information found on NSIDC into a visual and geographic context that is easy to understand.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Climate Kids - Online and Hands-on Activities for Learning About Climate Change

Climate Kids is NASA's climate change website for kids. On Climate Kids you will find a nice selection of online games and hands-on activities for students. Some of the topics that the Climate Kids online games address include recycling, renewable energy, and climate history.

Some of the hands-on activities featured on Climate Kids include re-purposing old clothing to make re-usable shopping bags, creating your own paper, and garden projects.

Before students jump into the games or hands-on activities featured on Climate Kids students should work through the guided big questions wheel. The guided questions wheel walks students through the basic concepts and issues related to climate change. Six questions are featured in the wheel. Students select a question to discover the answers through the exploration of a series of smaller questions. Each question is addressed with a mix of image, text, and video explanations.

Applications for Education
Climate Kids includes a page for teachers. On that page you can find a directory of resources aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. Besides the directory, the page for teachers offers galleries of media that you can use in your climate change lesson plans.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Study in Rising Sea Levels - A Tale of Two Cities

The BBC offers a nice resource about global warming and sea level change. Rising Sea Levels: A Tale of Two Cities compares the responses of two coastal cities to changes and future changes to sea levels. Rising Sea Levels compares Rotterdam and Maputo. In the feature, readers will learn about the causes of sea level change and unique challenges facing each city because of sea level change. In addition to text, the feature includes an "in pictures" section in which you can see sketches of Rotterdam's potential responses to rising sea levels.

Applications for Education
Rising Sea Levels: A Tale of Two Cities could be useful for anyone that teaches lessons on environmental science and climate change. After having students explore Rising Sea Levels, you could have them locate other cities which could be affected by rising sea levels. Then have the students propose responses for those cities.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Six Resources to Help Students See the Effects of Climate Change

This month's issue of National Geographic includes a feature on glacial meltdown. Part of the online complement to that article is the interactive map of estimates of coastline changes based on glacial meltdown that I posted last week. That map is fairly basic and I had received a few requests for more resources for teaching about climate change. Here are six other resources through which students can see the effects of climate change.

Google, NASA, USGS, and TIME host timelapse imagery that depicts how the Earth's surface has changed over the last 25 to 30 years. Using the TIME Timelapse powered by Google you can see how shorelines have changed, cities have grown, and glaciers have shrunk. Start out with some the featured imagery on the homepage then search for other places around the world. The first place I searched for was Cape Cod.

Climate Commons is an interactive map developed by the Earth Journalism Network. The map features weather data and emissions data related to climate. The map allows you to compare baseline weather data with anomalies and extreme weather events. The map also features articles about climate change. The articles are displayed on the map according to location.

NASA's State of Flux image collection features before and after pictures of more than 200 locations worldwide. The satellite images show the effects of climate change, natural disasters, and land use on places all over the globe. For some examples from the State of Flux collection take a look at the impacts of dam building in Brazil, drought along the Mississippi River, or volcanic activity in Iceland. You can browse for images by clicking placemarks on the State of Flux Google Map or by scrolling through the image gallery.

Surging Seas, produced by, is an interactive map of the potential impact on the United States of rising sea levels. The map allows you to click along coastal areas on the east coast and west coast to see how high the sea level could rise. The Surging Seas maps also project the number of people, homes, and land area that could be affected if the projections are correct.

Glacier Works is a non-profit organization studying the shrinking glaciers of the Himalaya and the impact of glacier melt on the people of the region. One of the neat features of the Glacier Works website is the panoramic before and after images. The panoramas show images of the glaciers from the 1920's side-by-side with recent images. You can quickly compare the two views by sliding your cursor across the panoramas.

ARMAP is a comprehensive resource of interactive, online maps of Arctic research. ARMAP's resources include files for use in Google Earth as well as ArcGIS explorer. You can also access 2D maps directly on the ARMAP website. ARMAP provides map layers and placemarks about a wide range of topics related to Arctic research. Before opening the general ARMAP map, visit the map gallery for a primer on the type of resources that can found on ARMAP. You should also check out the links section of ARMAP to visit the sources of much of the ARMAP content.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wildfires and Climate Change - Video

Earlier this week while exploring Climate Central I found a good video about wildfires in the western United States. The video (available through Vimeo) explains why rising temperatures are not the only contributor to an increasing rate of wildfires in the west. Watch the video (embedded below) and you might be surprised by some of the factors that Climate Central believes are contributing to the increased rate of wildfires.

Wildfires Out West from Climate Central on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cooking With Solar Energy - A Hands-on Project for Students is a good place for teachers to find videos, interactive activities, and lesson plans for teaching about climates and climate change. One of the teaching activities that I found on I think elementary, middle, and high school students could enjoy is making a solar oven (link opens a PDF). The Making a Solar Oven PDF includes directions for building your solar oven and tips for cooking in it. You and your students can build a solar oven using materials that are commonly found in schools, homes, and grocery stores.

Applications for Education
Making a solar oven and baking some cookies in it could be a great way to get students excited to learn about solar energy. At the middle school and high school levels you could have students experiment with modifications of the original design to see if they can increase or decrease temperatures and cooking times in their solar ovens.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Climate Science Explained in 11 Animated Videos

Planet Nutshell produces a lot of excellent animated, explanatory videos. This morning while exploring their catalog I found a set of eleven videos about climate change. The videos cover everything from causes of climate change to examples of the effects of climate change to what we can do about climate change. All of the videos are available to view on Vimeo. The series is accompanied by a list of all of the references used in the production of the videos.

Climate Science in a Nutshell #1: A Sick Planet from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

Friday, April 19, 2013

10 Educational Resources for Earth Day

This coming Monday is Earth Day 2013. As I've done in the past, I've compiled a list of resources for teaching about Earth Day and environmental science in general. Here are ten resources for teaching and learning about Earth Day and environmental science.

The Earth Day Network is a good place to start your search for Earth Day information. The Earth Day Network offers nine lesson plans about preserving the environment. This year the Earth Day Network is looking for people to share stories of climate change by uploading pictures that represent "the faces of climate change."

National Geographic has some other great resources for learning about environmental science and Earth  Day. On the National Geographic website students can learn about the Green House Effect through an interactive lesson. After learning about global warming in the Green House Effect interactive lesson, students can learn about alternative energy through the Wind Power interactive lesson.

Breathing Earth is an interactive map demonstrating CO2 emissions, birth rates, and death rates globally and by individual countries. From the moment that you first visit Breathing Earth it starts counting the number of births occurring worldwide. Placing your cursor over any country on the map reveals information about birthrate, death rate, and rate of CO2 emissions. One of the additional resources linked to Breathing Earth is an ecological footprint calculator. Using this calculator students can calculate their personal footprints, take quizzes, and learn about the ecological footprints of various businesses.

Google offers tours in its Explore Climate Change series. The tours explore the actions of organizations to prevent or adapt to climate change in different parts of the world. These tours include the World Wildlife Foundation's efforts in the peatland swamps of Borneo, Greenpeace's actions to prevent deforestation of the Amazon, and Conservation International's efforts to reduce deforestation in Madagascar. The tours can be viewed three ways, in Google Earth, in the Google Browser plug-in, or through YouTube.

Google offers tours in its Explore Climate Change series. The tours explore the actions of organizations to prevent or adapt to climate change in different parts of the world. These tours include the World Wildlife Foundation's efforts in the peatland swamps of Borneo, Greenpeace's actions to prevent deforestation of the Amazon, and Conservation International's efforts to reduce deforestation in Madagascar. The tours can be viewed three ways, in Google Earth, in the Google Browser plug-in, or through YouTube.

Turf Mutt is a nice free resource from Discovery Education. Turf Mutt features ten free environmental science lesson plans for K-5 teachers. The lesson plans have clearly defined objectives and detailed directions for carrying out each lesson plan. The majority of the lesson plans span several days. The lesson plans use a combination of hands-on activities, see Discovering Dirt, and reading/ research activities. Although not directly connected to the lesson plans, Turf Mutt has some videos to help students learn about topics in Environmental Science.

My Garbology, produced by Nature Bridge, is an interactive game that teaches students about sorting garbage for recycling, reusing, and composting. Students sort garbage into four bins according to where they think each piece of garbage should go. When a piece of garbage is sorted correctly a series of short animations explains why it should be there.  For example, a banana peel should be sorted into the compost bin. When the banana peel is placed into the compost bin students watch and hear a series of animations explaining how composting works.

Changing the Balance is a website for students to use to explore climate change through looking at its impact on mosquitoes, malaria, and the West Nile virus. There are nine sequential parts to Changing the Balance. In the first four parts students learn about mosquitoes, Malaria, and West Nile and how climate change may be a contributing factor to the spread of those diseases. In the beginning students also learn how mosquitoes bite and how Malaria affects the human body. The last five sections of Changing the Balance are geared toward a more general explanation and examination of causes and effects of climate change.

The Great Energy Challenge is a National Geographic feature that offers some nice interactive posters for evaluating personal and global energy consumption. Global Electricity Outlook is an interactive display of electricity consumption across the globe. You can view the global picture or click on the map to view regional consumption. The display shows the means of electricity production globally and regionally. To see how shifting production sources would impact the world or a region use the sliders below the map. The Personal Energy Meter is a tool for evaluating your personal carbon footprint. The meter asks for your location then asks a series of questions about your energy consumption. The result compares you to the average person in your region. I was below average in my footprint until I entered the number of flights I take every year. Wow! Flying leaves a huge carbon footprint.

EcoKids is a Canadian organization that provides free resources for teaching and learning about topics in environmental science. The resources designed for teachers require registration, but the resources for students can be accessed without registration. The games and activities section for kids offers dozens of online games across eight categories. Within each of the eight categories the games and activities are again categorized according to age appropriateness. The eight games and activities categories are: wildlife, climate change, energy, water, waste, land use, the North, and First Nations & Inuit.