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Visualizing the 2012 Sea Ice Minimum
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=79256&src=fb

Jesse Allen, Michon Scott, Mike Carlowicz, NASA Earth Observatory

This interactive visualization from the NASA Earth Observatory website compares Arctic sea ice minimum extent from 1984 to that of 2012.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Static Visualization 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, 4 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Equilibrium and feedback loops in climate system
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2f
Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

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

  • Educators could also use images alone with slider tool, without the text, or could paraphrase or simplify text.
  • CLEAN resource Arctic Sea Ice 2012 is a video that addresses Arctic sea ice extent over a similar time period.

About the Science

  • The amount of sea ice loss over the past 28 years is quite dramatic.
  • Accompanying background information discuss how the data was collected and explains the loss of ice extent as a positive (self-reinforcing) feedback mechanism.
  • At the time of this review (2016), the summer of 2012 still holds the record for minimum sea ice in the Arctic. But that may change. Up-to-date information on sea ice can be found on the Arctic Sea Ice News page of the NSIDC.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The development of Arctic sea ice is an important topic. The sea ice extent minimum of 2012 is presented in a clear manner that is easy to understand, but also conveys its importance.

About the Pedagogy

  • Quite a bit of informational text accompanies the graphic.
  • Further resources for exploration are hyperlinked in the text.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Slider is easy to use; images are clear.

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

There is a useful Arctic sea ice change visualization and plot from NASA that may be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKbWN5YpgIU.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Static Visualization supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS2.C2:The complex patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns.

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.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 4

Stability and Change, Patterns, Cause and effect

MS-C7.4:Systems in dynamic equilibrium are stable due to a balance of feedback mechanisms.

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.C1:The abundance of liquid water on Earth’s surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planet’s dynamics. These properties include water’s exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of energy, transmit sunlight, expand upon freezing, dissolve and transport materials, and lower the viscosities and melting points of rocks.

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.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.

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: 4

Patterns, Cause and effect, Stability and Change

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.

HS-C2.4:Changes in systems may have various causes that may not have equal effects.

HS-C7.3:Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P4.3:Consider limitations of data analysis (e.g., measurement error, sample selection) when analyzing and interpreting data


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