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Hurricanes and Climate

Lisa Gardiner, UCAR Science Education; NESTA

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

  • Would be a good piece included in a larger lesson on weather and connections between ocean and the atmosphere.
  • Try to locate more current data on hurricane frequency and intensity in each of the 6 targeted geographic regions.

About the Science

  • This activity is about where (geographically) and when (seasonally) hurricanes occur, relative frequencies of hurricanes in different locations, and relationships among sea surface temperature, hurricane location, and frequency of occurrence.
  • Science background provided in the activity is pretty superficial. Data provided on hurricane frequency is old (2004/2005). Would be better to seek more current data.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Great activity with an excellent student workbook component.
    Scientific strengths:
    - creating bar graphs
    - clear explanation of why hurricanes form where they do
    - interpreting SST maps and making the connection between where hurricanes form and the warmest waters
    - inferring why hurricanes might become stronger and more frequent
    - very slight introduction to the Coriolis Effect (too difficult to explain but at least the students get some exposure)
    - explanation between warming global temperatures and hurricanes

About the Pedagogy

  • Would fit in well with a class learning about weather, ocean/atmosphere interactions, or hurricanes. Focuses mostly on hurricanes with information about how they're formed and how ocean and air temperatures are a factor in their creation. Would fit well as an introduction or add-on to a larger lesson about one of the above topics.
  • Activity involves reading and analyzing maps of displayed data, constructing simple bar graphs and a timeline, and reflecting on the information conveyed by the visuals. Links to additional sources of information provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Activity downloadable in pdf form.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

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