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Local Climate Snapshots

California Energy Commission

This interactive visualization provides a clear, well-documented snapshot of current and projected values of several climate variables for local areas in California. The climate variables include observed and projected temperatures, projected snowpack, areas vulnerable to flooding due to sea level rise, and projected increase in wildfires. The projected values come from expert sources and well-established climate models.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This interactive contains only California data. It will be of value only to educators in California or to those using California climate as an example.
  • Educators may wish to develop a set of questions that students use this tool to answer.
  • It is one of 9 useful tools/maps provided on the cal-adapt.org website http://cal-adapt.org/tools/. The maps are similar in design but display different data sets and parameters.

About the Science

  • The visualization uses an interactive map to locate the area of interest and different map overlays to convey the information.
  • Comment from expert scientist: An important message (regional variability of climate change and its impacts) is delivered in an easy-to-understand way that motivates students to find out relations (e.g. to altitude) or look for their favorite places (home, holiday).

About the Pedagogy

  • The map interface provides an effective way to contextualize the exploration of these data sets by students.
  • Students can click on their local area or others across the state to access graphical information.
  • The webpage also includes related stories.
  • While the focus in this visually appealing interactive is on displaying the basic climate variables for a California region, it also offers a wealth of supporting materials about climate.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • While a lot of information is conveyed by this interactive, its state-of-the-art design, graphics, and technical operation make it easy to use. It should work on any modern web-browser that runs Javascript and CSS well.

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