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Five-Year Average Global Temperature Anomalies from 1880 to 2010

Robert B. Schmunk, J Hansen, R Ruedy, Mki Sato, K Lo, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

This color-coded map displays a progression of changing five-year average global surface temperatures anomalies from 1880 through 2010. The final frame represents global temperature anomalies averaged from 2006 to 2010. The temperature anomalies are computed relative to the base period 1951-1980.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Static Visualization supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 4 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Global warming and especially arctic warming is recorded in natural geological and historic records
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4e
Climate is variable
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate is variable
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

  • Viewing these annual 5-year average temperature anomalies will encourage students to ask why this is happening to global mean temperatures.
  • Students likely need to be instructed and coached on how to interpret these maps even though it is rather straightforward.
  • Information on how the raw data was processed to derive the map is given here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp.

About the Science

  • Temperature monitoring stations from around the world collect temperatures and analyze/compare the records year after year.
  • This resource includes data sources and scientific references and some discussion about the reasons for working with temperature anomalies rather than absolute temperatures.
  • Comments from expert scientist: A strength of this resource is that it is based on real data.

About the Pedagogy

  • While these are important datasets and should be presented in classrooms, the web page includes little scaffolding for most educators. Further background material will likely be needed.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This animation and its individual frames are available in a number of formats. It is best to use the animation with the year overlay and have the temperature difference color bar available.
  • The web page does not make clear that there are both videos and stills available (i.e., they should be separated in some way).
  • Visualizations of the anomalies changing year to year can be downloaded or educators could choose individual jpegs to make their own data collection.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Static Visualization supports:

High School

Performance Expectations: 1

HS-ESS2-2: Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

HS-ESS2.A1:Earth’s systems, being dynamic and interacting, cause feedback effects that can increase or decrease the original changes.

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.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 1



Science and Engineering Practices: 4

Developing and Using Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P2.3:Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system

HS-P2.4:Develop and/or use multiple types of models to provide mechanistic accounts and/or predict phenomena, and move flexibly between model types based on merits and limitations.

HS-P2.6:Develop and/or use a model (including mathematical and computational) to generate data to support explanations, predict phenomena, analyze systems, and/or solve problems.

HS-P4.5:Evaluate the impact of new data on a working explanation and/or model of a proposed process or system.

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