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Wind Map

Fernanda Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, Hint.fm

This animated map shows prevailing surface wind direction and strength across the United States.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

Energy Literacy

Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
Earth's weather and climate is mostly driven by energy from the Sun.
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2.3 Earth's climate driven by the Sun.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
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Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

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
Energy from the sun (and the wind and water energy derived from it) is available indefinitely. Because the transfer of energy from these resources is weak and variable, systems are needed to collect and concentrate the energy.
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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

  • Could be incorporated into a discussion of where wind power might be most effectively implemented in the US.
  • Students could be assigned certain cities to focus on and identify the wind patterns.
  • Educator can access the archive animations and have students compare and contrast different years.

About the Science

  • Surface wind data comes from NOAA's National Digital Forecast Database. Map shows near-term forecasts revised once per hour.
  • Resource includes caveat that map is a "personal art project".
  • Comments from expert scientist: This is a very aesthetically-appealing representation of surface wind data based on forecasts. The data shown in this visualization have been spatially-smoothed in a way that is not transparently explained. It is very difficult to determine what resolution forecast data went into this map, and what resolution could be inferred.

About the Pedagogy

  • Map shows direction speed and patterns of surface winds across the US updated hourly. Similar to diagrams in textbooks but this one is animated.
  • Visually dynamic.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • A nice clear graphic design.

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