Jump to this Static Visualization »
A Warming World

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA

Two graphs from the NASA Climate website illustrate the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures. The NASA plot is annotated with temperature-impacting historic events, which nicely connect an otherwise challenging graphic to real-world events.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate change vs. climate variability and patterns
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4c
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

  • A good lecture aid for talking about increasing global temperature and linking it to real-world historical events.

About the Science

  • On the first graph, an orange line shows long-term trends by averaging temperatures over a five-year period. Purple error bars represent the uncertainty on measurements.
  • On the second graph, the observation is that despite differences in the ways the scientists develop their averaged temperature records, the four different and well-known temperature records show remarkable agreement. 
  • Comments from expert scientist: Resource is a very effective presentation.
  • It gives details behind unusual years.

About the Pedagogy

  • The NASA temperature graph includes hyperlink points on the graph providing text information on historical events that provide context for students on why sudden changes in temperature sometimes occur (volcanic eruption, El Niño, La Niña, etc).
  • These very effectively show how natural events can affect Earth's global temperatures for short periods of time within the context of global change trends.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The visualization is clear and easy to read, and the links work, though you get a flickering of the descriptions of some specific points if you pass over them with the mouse.

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

Warming World from NASA Climate: http://climate.nasa.gov/warmingworld/

Jump to this Static Visualization »