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Climate and Global Change: A Toolkit for Teaching About our Ever-Changing World Roberta Johnson, Jennifer Bergman, and David Mastie UCAR Office of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate and Global Change: A Toolkit for Teaching About our Ever-Changing World Roberta Johnson, Jennifer Bergman, and David Mastie UCAR Office of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate and Global Change: A Toolkit for Teaching About our Ever-Changing World Roberta Johnson, Jennifer Bergman, and David Mastie UCAR Office of Education and Outreach

2 Weather Climate Commonly Accepted Definitions Or, in the words of a middle school student…. "climate tells you what clothes to buy, but weather tells you what clothes to wear." refers to the current atmospheric conditions (including temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity, barometric pressure) at a particular time and place. refers to the general weather patterns expected in a given area (sometimes based on the 30 year average weather). Climate may also be applied more generally to large-scale weather patterns in time or space (e.g., an Ice Age climate or a tropical climate).

3 Please Graph… Average high Average low Mean temperature Daily temperatures – highs and lows For February 1-10 All temperatures are in Fahrenheit You decide scale, axes, and so on…all on the same graph.

4 Natural Forcing Classroom Activity - Earths Energy Cycle: Albedo Earths Energy balance is determined by incoming, reflected, re-emitted, and absorbed radiation. The albedo gives the fraction of radiation that is reflected from a surface

5 Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate Classroom Activity: Carbon Cycle Online Game Classroom Activity: CO2 Sources and Sinks Classroom Activity: The Nitrogen Cycle Game

6 Carbon Dioxide – Sources and Sinks Activity Materials for each small group: Test tube rack and 4 test tubes 1 – vinegar 2 – BTB 1 – covered in foil One hole stopper with tubing Cotton balls Baking soda and vinegar Aluminum foil Straws

7 Carbon Dioxide – Sources and Sinks Activity Part 1: Detecting Carbon Dioxide Gas 1. Make a small "boat" out of foil and fill 1/2 full of baking soda. 2. Carefully slide the foil boat inside the vinegar test tube without spilling baking soda from the boat. Plug the test tube with the stopper and tubing. 3. Place the free end of the tubing into BTB. Place a cotton ball at the neck of the BTB tube. Mix the vinegar and soda gently. What happened?

8 Carbon Dioxide – Sources and Sinks Activity Part 2: Are animals a source of CO2? 1.Place a straw in a test tube of BTB. 2.Place a cotton ball in the test tube opening. 3.Gently blow in the straw. Part 3: Are plants a source of CO2? 1.Place a sprig of Elodea into a test tube of BTB. 2.Wrap the tube in foil so that no light can get in. 3.Place in test tube rack and leave for at least 24 hours Part 4: Do plants take up CO2? Place unwrapped test tube with Elodea from Part 3 in light.

9 Carbon Dioxide – Sources and Sinks Activity Part 5: Are fossil fuels a source of CO2? 1.Carefully untwist the tie of the exhaust filled balloon while pinching the balloon neck so the gas does not escape. 2.Insert a straw into the neck of the balloon up to the Pinched portion while still preventing the gas from escaping. 3.Insert the other end of the straw into a test tube of blue BTB. 4.Insert a cotton ball at the top of the test tube. 5.Gently release air from the balloon by slowly untwisting the neck.

10 The Global C Cycle

11 The Global N Cycle

12 Effects of Climate Change: Physical Classroom Activity: Where have all the Glaciers Gone? Classroom Activity: Mapping Ancient Coastlines Classroom Demo: Thermal Expansion

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14 Classroom Demonstration or Activity: Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise Materials: Conical flask Rubber stopper- 2 holes Glass tube Thermometer Lamp Watt bulb Water with blue food coloring

15 Global sea level extracted, via a hydraulic model, from an oxygen isotope record for the Red Sea over the past 470 kyr. Source: Siddall et al., Nature, 423, , ,000 years of Sea Level Change A B (last interglacial)

16 Key Largo, Florida 129 thousand years ago, sea level > 4-6 m above present Photo: Dan Muhs A: the last interglacial

17 Cosquer Cave Dramatic proof of profound Historical climate change, sea level change - and human adaptation 18,000-27,000 years ago B: before the last retreat of the ice

18 Mapping Ancient Coastlines Classroom Activity

19 Mapping Ancient Coastlines Classroom Activity

20 Glaciers are Retreating Globally In Switzerland… In Alaska…

21 What tools do scientists use to study past, present, and future climates? Past – Present – Future – –Recent past – weather records –Distant past – proxy data– fossils, ice cores, tree rings, pollen Sensors on satellites, sensors on towers Computer models

22 Effects of Climate Change: Flora and Fauna Classroom Activity: Paleoclimates And Pollen

23 Materials for each small group: Sample of each sediment layer (1 – 5) Pie pan and toothpicks Student Handout sheet

24 Mixed meadow species found in areas of warm summer temperatures and summer drought. Alpine sagebrush found in woody, low-growing shrub at high altitude, cold sites. Oak tree found in warm, temperate sites characterized by dry, warm summers.

25 Above center, Alder tree, prefers abundant water and can grow in cool climates. Widespread in the Pacific Northwest. Above right, grasses found in very cool alpine/subalpine meadows that are cool in summer, harsh in winter, with short growing season. Above left: Englemann spruce is found in cold, usually sub-alpine sites. Lodgepole Pine found in very cool climates often at high altitudes (above 3500) at present. At right: Western Cedar found only in temperate, very moist climates. At left: Douglas Fir prefers moderately cool to warm sites & grows best in temperate, somewhat moist conditions.

26 Building Decision Making Skills Classroom Activity - CO2: How much do you spew? Classroom Activity – The Green Mile 1 1 © 2006 Produced by Topics Education, Participants Productions, All rights reserved

27 Source: World Resources Time Magazine – 9 April 2001

28 Climate Education Resources National Center for Atmospheric Research University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Windows to the Universe Project LEARN NCAR Kids Crossing Climate Discovery Teachers Guide overy overy


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