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Global And Great Lakes Climate Change

Ohio Sea Grant, Ohio State University

In this activity students work with data to analyze local and global temperature anomaly data to look for warming trends. The activity focuses on the Great Lakes area.

Activity takes one to two 50-minute class periods.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

  • The activity may be best for younger students or those with weak backgrounds in data and graphing.
  • The activity could be adapted for local data from anywhere. In the activity sheet the link for the US Historical Climatology Network guides students to find local data.
  • The National Climate Assessment is another good source for local and regional temperature anomaly data.

About the Content

  • This is an activity that incorporates global and local (Great Lakes) datasets of temperature anomalies.
  • Students are encouraged to explore temporal and spatial scale, look for trends, and draw conclusions from the graphs they create using global and local temperature anomaly data from the Great Lakes Region.
  • Comments from expert scientist: A good exercise in recognizing temperature variability from year to year.

About the Pedagogy

  • The activity is well-structured to have groups of students graph 26-year periods of historical temperature anomaly data. Students are then asked to make predictions about how they would expect short-term trends to continue into the future. Students then combine their graphs to examine trends over a longer time scale and assess the value of long-term data for increasing predictability of trends.
  • Teacher and Student version of the activity are provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The teacher guide is very helpful with suggestions for use in the classroom.
  • Activity is in pdf form with all data, answer sheets, and answer key provided. This is a good activity for a low-tech classroom as no computers are needed.
  • Note that Climate Literacy Principles indicated on the activity front page are incorrect (the text is more or less correct but the Literacy numbers are incorrect)
Entered the Collection: February 2017 Last Reviewed: May 2015

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