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Climate Wizard

University of Southern Mississippi University of Washington, Nature Conservancy

This is an interactive webtool that allows the user to choose a state or country and both assess how climate has changed over time and project what future changes are predicted to occur in a given area.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

mate varies over space and time through both natural and man-made processes
About Teaching Principle C
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Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
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Observations, experiments, and theory are used to construct and refine computer models that represent the climate system and make predictions about its future behavior. Results from these models lead to better understanding of the linkages between the atmosphere-ocean system and climate conditions and inspire more observations and experiments. Over time, this iterative process will result in more reliable projections of future climate conditions.
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understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling
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Human activities have affected the land, oceans, and atmosphere, and these changes have altered global climate patterns. Burning fossil fuels, releasing chemicals into the atmosphere, reducing the amount of forest cover, and rapid expansion of farming, development, and industrial activities are releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and changing the balance of the climate system.
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Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
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Computer modeling explores the logical consequences of a set of instructions and a set of data. The instructions and data input of a computer model try to represent the real world so the computer can show what would actually happen. In this way, computers assist people in making decisions by simulating the consequences of different possible decisions.
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Teachers should click on the Case Study link in upper right to see how the Climate Wizard is being used by other organizations.
  • Tool could be used in a social science class as well to explore how impacts of climate change could affect the economy.

About the Science

  • Website allows users to view historic temperature and rainfall maps for all land surfaces (except Antarctica), view state-of-the-art future predictions of temperature and rainfall for the same areas, and view and download climate change maps for these areas in a few easy steps.
  • Base climate projections are downscaled.
  • Comments from expert scientist: There's an impressive amount of good data presented in a user-friendly way. The choices of analysis areas are also good as users will primarily be interested in the U.S. and the globe. With the appropriate educated guide this site could teach people interested in climate a huge amount.

About the Pedagogy

  • The FAQ link in the top menu answers many questions that educators and students might have about how to use the climate wizard and background information on content and data.
  • Students can visualize local impacts.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • It takes time to familiarize oneself with all of the elements of this interactive.
  • High resolution and colors are engaging.

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