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Changes in global average surface temperature, global average sea level, and northern hemisphere snow cover

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR4 Synthesis Report

This key figure is on page 11 of the PDF found at the link above (it is listed as page 3 in the document). The link is to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) synthesis report. This image shows changes in global average surface temperature, global average sea level, and Northern Hemisphere snow cover from as far back as 1850.

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ngssSee how this Static Visualization supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice
High School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 3 Science and Engineering Practices

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

  • For background on this figure, see it in the context of the IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report see http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spms1.html
  • Figure caption reads: Observed changes in (a) global average surface temperature; (b) global average sea level from tide gauge (blue) and satellite (red) data and (c) Northern Hemisphere snow cover for March-April. All differences are relative to corresponding averages for the period 1961-1990. Smoothed curves represent decadal averaged values, while circles show yearly values. The shaded areas are the uncertainty intervals estimated from a comprehensive analysis of known uncertainties (a and b) and from the time series (c).

About the Science

  • This visualization of several critical data sets is from the IPCC Fourth Assessment (AR4) Synthesis Report from 2007 based on figures and data sources in the Working Group 1 report.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Figure contains important data and is accurate, but page contains no caption, references or other info to help the user.

About the Pedagogy

  • These datasets provide the critical evidence for the primary impacts of the recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. They will be central to any discussion of climate change.
  • Teacher will need to explain the vertical axis label (difference from 1961-1990) to younger students.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This is a simple and direct visualization of three main climate change datasets with yearly values, decadal averaged values, and uncertainty intervals.

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

For background on this figure see it in the context of the IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report - http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spms1.html.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Static Visualization supports:

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