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Greenland Ice Sheet project 2: A Record of Climate Change

Zachary Taylor, Wright Center, Teachers' Domain

This interactive visualization describes how climatologists obtain and interpret evidence from the Greenland Ice Sheet in an effort to piece together a picture of Earth's distant climate history. Resource describes how glaciers form and how they can be used to collect ancient atmospheric data. The issues analyzed in the data collection are particularly good in showing how science is done in the field.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • The graphs in the analysis section can be used in other activities. The ability to compare the methane concentration, calcium dust, and insolation graphs to the temperature graph is particularly useful.
  • Educator may want to explain oxygen isotope ratios before doing this activity.

About the Science

  • Comment from expert scientist: This exercise presents a nice summary of how and why ice cores are drilled and presents some of the results. It provides insights into how scientists understand past climate and shows data that puts current climate change in perspective.

About the Pedagogy

  • A background essay and discussion questions are provided with the resource.
  • Resource has a nice set of graphs that can be overlaid with a temperature curve for analysis and comparison.
  • Students can use the data and overlays to draw and defend their own conclusions.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The graphics are clear and well done, even at the small screen size. The graphic may project, but it is better viewed by each student or in small groups on a computer.

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