Chris Amico, Peter Aldhous, New Scientist
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Static Visualization supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 4 Cross Cutting Concepts, 3 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 2 Science and Engineering Practices
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Students could be allowed to discover trends on their own before a lesson or could be given access after a lesson on climate for reinforcement.
- Having students compare changes in temperature between their community and other parts of the world would be a good exercise to drive home that we are experiencing GLOBAL climate change.
- Discuss the nature of the graphical data, the 5-year average, and the way the data is displayed.
About the Science
- This interactive graphic displays results from a global analysis of surface temperatures from 1880 to the present called GISTEMP, produced by a team at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.
- The graphs and maps all show changes relative to average temperatures for the three decades between 1951 and 1980, the earliest period for which there was sufficiently good coverage for comparison. This gives a consistent view of climate change across the globe.
- Good visual for comparing the temperature record averages over time for a given location on Earth.
- Uses NASA temperature records and corrects for urban areas.
- Good visually and includes temperature trends for given areas as well as the overall global trend for comparison. Temperature data can be found by hovering over the graph; direct comparisons can't be made.
Comments from expert scientist:
- Interactive, high quality map
- Many data points globally
About the Pedagogy
- Can be used with lessons on change over time and to show how the temperatures have been rising globally.
- Easy to use for students of any age.
- Relevant; brings climate change into students' homes and communities.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Static Visualization supports:
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1
MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 4
MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
MS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
MS-C4.2: Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
MS-C4.3:Models are limited in that they only represent certain aspects of the system under study.
Science and Engineering Practices: 3
MS-P2.4:Develop and/or revise a model to show the relationships among variables, including those that are not observable but predict observable phenomena.
MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4
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.
HS-ESS2.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.
HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 3
HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.
HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
HS-C4.3:Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions—including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.
Science and Engineering Practices: 2
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-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.