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Greenland Ice Sheet project 2: A Record of Climate Change
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ess05.sci.ess.watcyc.greenland/

Zachary Taylor, Wright Center, Teachers' Domain

This interactive visualization describes how climatologists obtain and interpret evidence from the Greenland Ice Sheet in an effort to piece together a picture of Earth's distant climate history. Resource describes how glaciers form and how they can be used to collect ancient atmospheric data. The issues analyzed in the data collection are particularly good in showing how science is done in the field.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Based on evidence from tree rings, other natural records, and scientific observations made around the world, Earth’s average temperature is now warmer than it has been for at least the past 1,300 years. Average temperatures have increased markedly in the past 50 years, especially in the North Polar Region.
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4e
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
Sometimes, scientists can control conditions in order to obtain evidence. When that is not possible, practical, or ethical, they try to observe as wide a range of natural occurrences as possible to discern patterns.
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

  • The graphs in the analysis section can be used in other activities. The comparison of the methane, calcium, and insolation graphs to the temperature graph is particularly useful.
  • Educator may want to explain oxygen isotope ratios before doing this activity.

About the Science

  • Comment from expert scientist: This exercise presents a nice summary of how and why ice cores are drilled and presents some of the results. It provides insights into how scientists understand past climate and shows data that puts current climate change in perspective.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • A background essay and discussion questions are provided with the resource.
  • Resource has a nice set of graphs that can be overlaid with a temperature curve for analysis and comparison.
  • Students can use the data and overlays to draw and defend their own conclusions.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The graphics are clear and well done, even at the small screen size. The graphic may project, but it is better viewed by each student or in small groups on a computer.

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