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Adapting to New Normals: The Heat’s On

Climate Central

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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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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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