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Climate Wisconsin: Temperature Change

Finn Ryan, Scott Pauli, Pitch Interactive, Wisconsin Educational Communications Board

This interactive visualization allows users to compare future projections of Wisconsin's average annual temperature with the actual changes of the last five decades. Text on the web page encourages students to think about the challenges Wisconsin could face if these changes occur.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 4 Cross Cutting Concepts, 2 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6c
Evidence shows that human-caused global warming have impacted ecosystem resulting in reduced biodiversity and ecological resilience
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6d
Negative impacts of global warming outweigh positive
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6e

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

  • While this map is exclusively for Wisconsin, educators can either use it as a case study or as an example of how to create something similar for their own state.
  • There is a more advanced version of this map showing a range of future forecasts on this website: http://www.wicci.wisc.edu/climate-map.php.
  • Wisconsin students could graph average temperature data for each decade at their specific location in Wisconsin.

About the Science

  • A clear and easy-to-use interactive that students can use to compare average temperature change each decade, beginning with 1960, for selected cities in Wisconsin.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This document clearly discusses relevant temperature projections for the state of Wisconsin. It's a quality summary with a clear message. I like the length, citations, and the flow.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students are able to select two decades (from 1960 to 2090 ) and the location within Wisconsin to compare.
  • Focused strictly on Wisconsin but could be of interest to other Midwestern states.
  • There are teaching tips provided on this webpage.
  • Additional video segments that support this topic can found on the bottom of the page. Educator should be encouraged to scroll down to the bottom to show students the impact of temperature change across different industries.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The visualization does not require much support from a teacher.
  • Instructions at the top of the webpage are clear and easily understood.
  • Broken link to University of Wisconsin-Madison lakes researcher John Magnuson.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 4

Patterns, Cause and effect

MS-C1.2: Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural and human designed systems

MS-C1.3: Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

Science and Engineering Practices: 2

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 5

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

HS-ESS2.D2:Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Patterns, Cause and effect

HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.

HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.

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