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Adapting to New Normals: The Heat’s On
http://www.climatecentral.org/videos/web_features/the-new-normals-philadelphia/

Climate Central

This video describes the impact of extreme heat on Philadelphia in the summer of 2011 and how the city is adapting to new expectations about its weather. It uses this example to introduce the new national climate normals, released by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) that summer.

Video length is 5:16 min.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate is not the same thing as weather. Weather is the minute-by-minute variable condition of the atmosphere on a local scale. Climate is a conceptual description of an area’s average weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over long time intervals.
About Teaching Principle 4
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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
Incidents of extreme weather are projected to increase as a result of climate change. Many locations will see a substantial increase in the number of heat waves they experience per year and a likely decrease in episodes of severe cold. Precipitation events are expected to become less frequent but more intense in many areas, and droughts will be more frequent and severe in areas where average precipitation is projected to decrease.
About Teaching Principle 7
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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

  • This video can be used to introduce a unit on extreme weather and the differences between weather and climate.
  • Students could reflect on changes they have witnessed in their own lives that relate to new normals.

About the Science

  • Every 10 years, scientists from the NCDC at NOAA calculate the averages for temperature and precipitation from thousands of U.S. locations. These new normals not only provide a glimpse of what is happening with the climate, but also serve as indicators of how a changing climate may affect everything from energy bills to crops and insurance premiums.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This is a web page containing primarily a video feature story on how recent changes in normal temperatures have changed people's perceptions of what is normal temperature. This is done in the context of a heat wave which hit the eastern part of the United States in summer 2011, at the time this story was produced. It provides a reasonably clear explanation for how normals can change from one period to the next and how the changes affect societal impacts and perception of the weather. It is clearly written and engaging. Video is produced by Climate Central, an organization known for focusing on climate impact stories.

About the Pedagogy

  • A short program summary is provided underneath the video and other related news and feature articles that relate to the video are accessible on the Climate Central website.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Video can be viewed online or downloaded as a Flash video file. It may not be of sufficient resolution for classroom projection.

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

[Maybe link to resource from the CLEAN collection that explains what climate normals are - LuAnn Dahlman?]

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