Changes in global average surface temperature, global average sea level, and northern hemisphere snow cover
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR4 Synthesis Report
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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
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- 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.