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A Warming World
http://climate.nasa.gov/warmingworld/globalTemp.cfm

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA

Two graphs from the NASA Climate website illustrate the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures. The NASA plot is annotated with temperature-impacting historic events, which nicely connect an otherwise challenging graphic to real-world events.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate change is a significant and persistent change in an area’s average climate conditions or their extremes. Seasonal variations and multi-year cycles (for example, the El Niño Southern Oscillation) that produce warm, cool, wet, or dry periods across different regions are a natural part of climate variability. They do not represent climate change.
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4c
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
Other materials addressing 5b

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

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

  • A good lecture aid for talking about increasing global temperature and linking it to real-world historical events.

About the Science

  • On the first graph, an orange line shows long-term trends by averaging temperatures over a five-year period. Purple error bars represent the uncertainty on measurements.
  • On the second graph, the observation is that despite differences in the ways the scientists develop their averaged temperature records, the four different and well-known temperature records show remarkable agreement. 
  • Comments from expert scientist: Resource is a very effective presentation.
  • It gives details behind unusual years.

About the Pedagogy

  • The NASA temperature graph includes hyperlink points on the graph providing text information on historical events that provide context for students on why sudden changes in temperature sometimes occur (volcanic eruption, El Niño, La Niña, etc).
  • These very effectively show how natural events can affect Earth's global temperatures for short periods of time within the context of global change trends.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The visualization is clear and easy to read, and the links work, though you get a flickering of the descriptions of some specific points if you pass over them with the mouse.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Warming World from NASA Climate: http://climate.nasa.gov/warmingworld/

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