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Temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over the past 400,000 years

UNEP Grid Arendal

This visualization graphically displays temperature and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere as derived from ice core data from 400,000 years ago to 1950. The data originates from UNEP GRID Arendal's graphic library of CO2 levels from Vostok ice core.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Static Visualization supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 6 Cross Cutting Concepts, 2 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 5 Cross Cutting Concepts, 2 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

About the Science

  • Graphic is slightly dated (2000) and could benefit from the inclusion of more recent ice core data going back 600K years from EPICA (Dome D).
  • Comments from expert scientist: This webpage offers a graph of Vostok CO2 and Antarctic surface temperature, the latter reconstructed using deuterium (a hydrogen isotope) data. The graphs appear accurate and it is nice to have a simple figure showing these two datasets.

About the Pedagogy

  • Visualization will need to be "unpacked" for the data depicted to be relevant.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Easy-to-access image can be downloaded.
  • The site hosting this graphic provides detailed information on the source of data, use constraints and citation suggestions.

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

Also see comparison with EPICA ice core: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EPICA_delta_D_plot.svg

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Static Visualization supports:

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