Jump to this Animation »
Temperature from Ice Core Data (IRMS)

N. Mahaffy, K. Genius, B. Vandenbrink, P. Mahaffy, B. Martin, King's Center for Visualization in Science

When last checked this resource was offline Our automated link checker has alerted the folks responsible for the part of our site where this problematic link is referenced. If you have further information about the link (e.g. a new location where the information can be found) please let us know.

You may be able to find previous versions at the Internet Archive.

This visualization shows in five steps how ice cores provide a measure of the temperature in the past.

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

  • This visualization was created as part of "Lesson 2" in a climate change module that can be seen at http://www.explainingclimatechange.ca/Climate%20Change/Lessons/Lesson%202/lesson2.html and also in the CLEAN collection.
  • Could be used as an introduction to how we know how global temperatures have changed over time to set up a comparison to how global temperatures have changed in recent years.
  • Teachers will have to provide questions students have to explore when reading through the webpages.

About the Science

  • Excellent step-by-step explanation of how ice core samples are used to determine historic temperature trends, including a breakdown of the biochemical processes that drive the process, the chemical equations and calculations used, and how the sampling process works in practice.

About the Pedagogy

  • The explanations are clear and straightforward and do an excellent job of communicating a complex process in simple terms.
  • Animation includes 5 nicely-designed webpages with a good explanation of the oxygen isotope dating method.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The animations and text are displayed very clearly. Can only be viewed online (need internet access).
  • Well-designed pages with little ability to interact with the content.

Jump to this Animation »