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Tropospheric Temperature


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This is a graphic that illustrates anomalies in tropospheric temperatures over a 50-year time period and is based on 7 different datasets superimposed on each other. It is one of 9 climate indicators documented in the AMS State of the Climate report.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

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

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Educators have the option of giving the raw data to student groups and having them plot and analyze the resulting graphs.
  • User must search using the publication titles separate from the resource to find original dataset source. There are no direct links to the articles.
  • Global annual anomaly maps for temperature variables are available in the 2009 Climate report to accompany this graphic and enhance background. This report, however, is not written for general public understanding on the topic.

About the Science

  • Tropospheric temperature anomalies from seven different datasets over a fifty-year period.
  • This collection from the American Meteorological Society 2009 State of the Climate Report allows students to investigate each data set individually and then collectively from 1958 - 2009.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Data from independent sources are collected to show the trend of lower tropospheric temperature. References are provided for each data set. From the plot, these data sources show similar trends. It is very critical to have these sets of data for climate science.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students will appreciate how trends in the data are found by combining and averaging data from different investigators.
  • Graphic provides students with the ability to investigate each of the seven datasets individually.
  • Supporting publications for the data are referenced but not downloadable for convenience. The 2009 Climate report offers other visual aids that educator could potentially pair with this data for deeper understanding.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Graphic is a desktop visual aid and does provide instructions on zooming and panning.

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