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Getting climate data into the classroom.

  1. Jan 18, 2010 #1
    This discussion varies over many topics, so I'm posting here.

    First off, I'm working on a NASA grant. We're doing the "Global Climate Change Education" grant. We are writing high school labs. The basic idea is for the lab to mostly be a typical lab, but have some aspect of climate change be part of the lesson. For example, the module I'm working on has the students discover pressure with depth (pressure=density*g*depth). The twist for this lab is discovering what may happen if sea levels rise. Eventually, they are lead to the conclusion that rising sea levels would increase the pressure of sea water at depth, pushing back fresh water in the water table. However, this is not my problem.

    In our first activity, students gain graphing skills by graphing various variables as a function of time. First off, we're looking for good data that is easy to manipulate in excell. We are looking for either monthly or yearly data for...

    Temp V Time
    Sea Level V Time
    Ocean Salinity V Time
    polar ice surface area V Time

    Secondly, we're looking for a good way to actually give the students the data. First, we are using...

    • Giovanni (NASA)

    • NEO (NASA Earth Observations)


    Here are our options.

    Students have computer problems.
    Not all schools online.
    Students surf the web instead of do the lab.
    Why should students trust the internet?

    Why should students trust what we give them?
    Quickly out-of-date.

    So big question is...

    What's the easiest place to retrieve accurate climate data that may not be research quality, but is easy to manipulate (in excell) and can be trusted by the students?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2010 #2
    Also, let me say that students will be doing all of their graphing and data manipulation in the lab, rather than at home.

    Also, there's the issue of trust. I am in an area of the country where many people don't "trust science". How do we tackle this issue if we're sending them to the internet to get data? Coming into the classroom, why should a student trust that the data I give them is accurate?
  4. Jan 18, 2010 #3
    why worry about trust of data? i would think the idea is teaching kids to evaluate things on their own. then they can rely less on experts and come to their own conclusions.
  5. Jan 18, 2010 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Flatmaster, we don't allow discussions of climate change here since it cannot be discussed without people getting overly emotional.

    As far as data, do you not have a contact at NASA that can sugggest data? NOAA would be a good place to go also for data. I'm sure if you contacted them they would be glad to help with pointing you to the data available.

    Here is the link for data requests, including free data.


    I'm closing this to prevent anyone from accidently posting on climate change.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  6. Jan 18, 2010 #5


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Data taken from the internet should be used carefully and not used for critical research. A disclaimer and caveats would have to accompany the results.

    If data are to be used for critical research, it should be obtained through formal channels which would include some QC.
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