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Snowpack: Decadal Averages Map
http://cal-adapt.org/snowpack/decadal/

California Energy Commission

This is an interactive map of California and the Sierra Nevada mountains, showing projected variations in water stored in snowpack, from 1950 to 2090, assuming low or high emission scenarios over that period of time. Interactive can be adjusted to show different months of the year and various climate models, graphed by site.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate plays an important role in the global distribution of freshwater resources. Changing precipitation patterns and temperature conditions will alter the distribution and availability of freshwater resources, reducing reliable access to water for many people and their crops. Winter snowpack and mountain glaciers that provide water for human use are declining as a result of global warming.
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7b
mate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives
About Teaching Principle C
Other materials addressing Cli

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
7.3 Environmental quality.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
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Energy affects quality of life .

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
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A) Processes that shape the Earth.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Fresh water, limited in supply, is essential for some organisms and industrial processes. Water in rivers, lakes, and underground can be depleted or polluted, making it unavailable or unsuitable for life.
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

  • Students could be paired for exploring this visualization and the resources that accompany it.
  • Teachers should prep students re: units, scenarios, etc. to effectively use this resource.
  • The models listed under More Options should be explained/outlined for learners.
  • Other interactive California-based maps to use in conjunction with this one are available at http://cal-adapt.org.

About the Science

  • Students use an animation to visualize the projected change in snow-water equivalence in the state of California. Students can view predicted changes in snow pack by using different models.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Clearly illustrates model predictions of snowpack under different climate change scenarios. Has links to data sources, and explains uncertainty in climate modeling. Although any projection must be a model, the difference between observation and projection could be better emphasized.

About the Pedagogy

  • Very relevant for students in CA since they can choose their local region and see predicted changes in snow pack. Can also be used as a case study.
  • Has a graphing tool to display data. Users will need to access instructions and supporting resources that accompany the visualization to fully understand what the interactive shows and what it implies for California's water supply.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Visualization is more effective when animation is run on "slow" setting.

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