Activity takes four to five 45-minute class periods. Computer access is required. 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.
Learning Goals by the creators of the orginal resource:
After completing this chapter, students will be able to:
- Search for, request, and download weather station data from NCDC/NOAA.
- Manipulate data in a spreadsheet to produce graphs.
- Analyze graphs to interpret differences in climate temperatures in at least two locations.
- Compare multiple sets of time series data (daily or annual).
- Use equations in a spreadsheet to convert degrees Centigrade to degrees Fahrenheit.
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
Go to this full resource >> Investigating Climate Change Using Observed Temperature Data
This original resource was developed by Carla McAuliffe, Earth Exploration Toolbook, TERC
TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
CLEAN review team comments on this resource >>
- This is a great tool for teaching Excel as a tool, accessing important real-time data, and creating awareness about changing climate conditions.
- Students should work in small groups.
- Undergraduate: Appropriate in lab and as homework
- High School: Appropriate as a way to access real-time data and teach the finer points of Excel; however, a jumping off point for real in-depth investigations.
- Middle School: Teacher would need to create the Excel graphs and ask students to interpret. In this case, the resource is a tutorial for the teacher not a lesson for the students.
About the Science
- Activity has students access format graph and compare historical temperature data for different locations around the world to observe regional differences in climate change.
- Excellent use and application of science data with a problem-based scenario.
- Suggested resources for further study are current and good for given grade level.
About the Pedagogy
- Good organization of learning materials and a logical learning sequence leads students to analyze and understand complex data sets.
- The instructions are clear, thorough, and well-written but they do require focus. The step-by-step structure of the data access and analysis parts of activity might be difficult for some students to follow easily.
- The case study provides good background information for students and teachers.
- Excellent going further activities for advanced students.
- Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- The "show me" feature that helps students through problems and procedures using software is exemplary.
- Some undergraduate and most high school students will need support and guidance with data access and analysis steps.
To be detemined by the educator.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
GSOD Station list, data format and data used in this chapter.GSOD_station_list.txt ( 2.9MB Jan20 11) Over 9000 stations globally.
GSOD_data_description.txt ( 15kB Jan20 11) format and units of variables
BarrowGSOD.txt ( 3.2MB Jan18 11) full data file for all years at Barrow.
Global Surface Network station list, data format and data files used in this chapter.
GSN_monthly_data_documentation.txt ( 2kB Jan12 11) format and units of variables
BarrowGSN.txt (Text File 121kB Jan12 11) full data file for all years at Barrow.
Excel Files at progressive stages of Parts 2, 3, and 4.
Barrow GSOD data at the end of Part 2, Step 2.
Barrow GSN data at the end of Part 3, Step 1.
barrowgsn_part3_step1.xls ( 314kB Jan12 11)
Barrow GSN data at the end of Part 3, Step 2.
barrowgsn_part3_step2.xls ( 405kB Jan12 11)
Key West and Barrow GSOD data at the end of Part 4, Step 1.
keywest-GSOD.xls ( 4.4MB Jan17 11)
Text file of Key West GSN data used in Part 4, Step2.
keywestgsn.txt ( 69kB Jan18 11)
Key West GSN data at the end of Part 4, Step 2.
keywestgsn_part4_final.xls ( 294kB Jan17 11)
Description by the creators of the orginial resource:
The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) archives weather data from stations all over the world. In this chapter, you will download two historic datasets from NCDC: 1) Global Summary of the Day (GSOD) temperature data and 2) Global Surface Network (GSN) monthly temperature data. After importing the data into Microsoft Excel, you will graph and compare daily to monthly temperatures for Barrow, Alaska. You will repeat this process for Key West, Florida and then compare these patterns to other temperature trends in the United States and globally.
Carla McAuliffe, Center for Science Teaching and Learning, TERC, Carla_McAuliffe@terc.edu
Rita Freuder, TERC Education Consultant, email@example.com
Neal Lott, NOAA, National Climatic Data Center, cccNeal.Lott@noaa.gov
Glen Reid, NOAA, Glen.Reid@noaa.gov
Suchi Gopal, Department of Geography, Boston University, firstname.lastname@example.org