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Fluid Earth Viewer

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, Ohio State University

This interactive online visualization allows the user to view a variety of weather patterns including temperature, wind, and wave action over time.

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

  • Lower-level students will likely need some guidance to understand what they're viewing and its significance.
  • Although this resource can be used to explore climate change, that connection will likely be missed by students unless the teacher creates a lesson/activity using this resource to help guide students through seeing changes over time.
  • This resource could be very useful to apply a local or global question, such as simulating a particular hurricane or weather event. It could be connected to DEI topics in a variety of ways, for example by looking at patterns in community exposure to pollution.
  • It might be beneficial to allow ambitious students to play around with the settings and try to observe why they might be seeing different patterns in wind, waves, sunshine, etc.
  • This simulation can be used to show climate change/differences over time, exploring the difference between weather vs. climate.
  • More advanced students can develop their own questions and use the visualization to answer them. Depending on the level of students, teachers may need to provide some example questions such as: Was there a different amount of ozone the year I was born vs. my parents? What did Hurricane Katrina look like on this visualization?
  • This resource is very similar to windy.com but includes more visualization fields.

About the Content

  • This global simulation allows the user to view a variety of weather patterns including Earth's temperatures, wind, humidity, ocean wave height, ocean currents, carbon monoxide, ozone, and sulfur dioxide. Users can choose current or historical dates for display.
  • It uses high-quality, extremely credible data which are updated constantly. The data are sourced from trusted databases including Weather-Global Forecast System (GFS), Ocean Currents-Ocean Surface Current Analysis Real-time (OSCAR), Sea Surface Temperature-Real Time Global Sea Surface Temperature (RTGSST), Gases and Aerosols-Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS).
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This resource has high spatial resolution and can allow a creative user to ask and answer many questions about weather patterns and events, however it does not actively support these research questions and may be more useful to an instructor who has a specific research question in mind.
  • Learning outcomes could vary widely depending on the application. Students can explore changes over time/look for patterns in temperatures, ocean currents, and gases on Earth.
  • This interactive online visualization is great for visual learners and could be explored individually or in groups.
  • There is no specific lesson plan included, so the teacher must decide how to use the visualization.
  • There is a short introductory video (which would be good for students to watch before use). The blog has some ideas for questions students can explore and topics you could build a lesson around: https://u.osu.edu/fever/category/classroom-and-informal-learning-uses/

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The quality of this resource makes it inviting and easy to use.
  • The resource offers a tutorial for new users.
  • Links to original data are readily available under the "Help/About" section.
  • It requires a good internet connection, but is free to use.
  • The teacher may need some prep time to write a complete lesson using this visualization.
Entered the Collection: March 2023 Last Reviewed: July 2022

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