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  • Middle School

    Earth's Systems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. MS-ESS2-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales. MS-ESS2-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, contintental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions. MS-ESS2-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  4. Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. MS-ESS2-4

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  5. Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions. MS-ESS2-5

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  6. Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. MS-ESS2-6

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Developing and Using Models

Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to developing, using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems.

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include investigations that use multiple variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

ELA/Literacy

  • RST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ESS2-2), (MS-ESS2-3), (MS-ESS2-5)
  • RST.6-8.7 - Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-ESS2-3)
  • RST.6-8.9 - Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (MS-ESS2-3), (MS-ESS2-5)
  • SL.8.5 - Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-ESS2-1), (MS-ESS2-2), (MS-ESS2-3), (MS-ESS2-6)
  • WHST.6-8.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (MS-ESS2-2)
  • WHST.6-8.8 - Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (MS-ESS2-5)

Mathematics

  • 6.EE.B.6 - Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set. (MS-ESS2-2), (MS-ESS2-3)
  • 6.NS.C.5 - Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g., temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation. (MS-ESS2-5)
  • 7.EE.B.4 - Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities. (MS-ESS2-2), (MS-ESS2-3)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-ESS2-2), (MS-ESS2-3), (MS-ESS2-5)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • Climate modeling 101, is a multi-part introduction to climate models. Students click through videos and readings about how climate models work and are shown examples. This resource addresses: Understanding Climate, Understanding Computer Models, Cons ...

  • This activity introduces the Active Reading approach for teaching students how to analyze visual representations in science texts. Students will annotate the text and visual representations in the article, Disaster in Japan: Earthquake and Tsunami, w ...

  •   This activity is based on a large number of U. S. National Parks that were created because of their geologic formations. Students will use the U.S. National Park Service’s website and the American Geosciences Institute Image Bank webs ...

  • In this activity, students are introduced to the environment of the Amazon rainforest. They compare differences between the Amazon and California forests. Next students act out the water cycle within the Amazon rainforest. After performing in their s ...

  • Flash Flood Fantasy is a stand alone lesson contained within the Caves, Canyons, Cactus and Critters curriculum for Carlsbad Canyon National Park.  In this activity, students construct individual stream trays in order to observe and describe can ...

  • This 1 ½ minute video shows the phenomenon of a cold front moving through Denver, CO over the course of a day in November. The time lapse video shows the time of day and temperatures. The resource can be used as either a phenomena to engage ...

  • Plate Tectonics is an interactive simulation in which users design scenarios involving plate interactions and observe the results over time. The simulation consists of two screens.  In the first, entitled Crust, students can investigate the phys ...

  • This activity gives students a visual representation of how volcanoes and earthquakes are related to plate boundaries and gets students working with real data. This lab also introduces students to the concept of vectors in the form of GPS data showin ...

  • This three-minute video from the Field Museum of Chicago shows scientists locating and digging for fossils in Antarctica. This is the first video in a series documenting the team’s daily life and field work during a fossil hunting expedition. T ...

  • In this activity, students manipulate and graph data collected by the research vessel, JOIDES Resolution, to determine whether sediment thickness located near the Juan de Fuca Ridge supports the concept of seafloor spreading.  Teachers can choos ...

  • This two-minute video from NBC Nightly News illustrates the role of ocean waves in the geoscience processes of erosion, deposition and weathering.  This clip can be used as an introduction to MS-ESS2-2 which focuses on how these processes have c ...

  • In this activity, students use information from the Deep Sea Drilling Project to look for evidence of seafloor spreading in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  Using temporal and spatial data obtained from core samples, students create and analyze a graph, ...

  • Interactives: The Rock Cycle is a collection of activities, with accompanying readings and animations, that provides information on rock types, the processes that affect rocks and the interrelationships among the three types.  In Part 1,Types of ...

  • Air Masses and Fronts is a detailed lesson plan from Better Lesson in which students study the movement of air masses across North America and how their interactions cause weather to change. The lesson begins with a split tank demonstration to illust ...

  • Activity 4: The Water Cycle is part of Introduction to the Atmosphere, which is Section 1 of the Cycles of the Earth and Atmosphere module created by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.  This module consists of lesson plans and ...

  • What-a-Cycle is a kinesthetic activity developed as part of the JetStream Online School for Weather. In this activity, students take on the role of a water molecule and follow it through a portion of the water cycle. To start the activity, teachers w ...

  • In Plate Tectonics, students are introduced to the theory behind this geophysical phenomenon and investigate the evidence that supports it.  In Part 1, students view Flash interactives and QuickTime videos which delineate the relationship betwee ...

  • Hot Spot Activity is a lesson plan that tasks students with calculating the speed and direction of the Pacific Plate using data from the Hawaiian Archipelago.  Students will use computational and graphing skills to search for patterns in the mov ...

  • Synoptic meteorology is the study of large scale weather systems providing a broad view of the weather at a particular time and location. In this lesson, students determine the location of weather systems and draw trend lines on basic weather maps pr ...

  • Weather Lab is an online interactive tool, or app, that helps students visualize how North America’s weather is formed in the Spring. The app models the interactions between various air masses and ocean currents and describes probable weather o ...

  • The purpose of the activity is to encourage students to (1) engage in a scientific literature review, in this case the mass extinction event that marks the boundary between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods; (2) apply their understanding of that ev ...

  • In this investigation students will create a model to visualize and predict how sequences of sedimentary rocks give us information about how sea level has changed over time. These changes in sea level can control the lateral and vertical facies near ...

  • In this investigation, students will use sand to build a mountain and then use a straw and watering can to simulate wind erosion and water erosion. Students will make observations and then propose ways to slow the erosion and/or speed the erosion. St ...

  • This activity consists of 2 parts created by different entities. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools created a superior worksheet that goes with the Glencoe Publisher online simulation: How can fossil and rock data determine when an organism lived? ...

  •   This activity is a kinesthetic activity where students will use logic and evidence to reconstruct the position of large islands and continents as they appeared 220 million years ago. Students will review what they know about plate tectonics ...

  •   Musical Plates-A Study of Plate Tectonics is an internet-based multidisciplinary project. Musical Plates - A Study of Plate Tectonics is one of 3 Musical Plates projects found on the k12 science.org” This review is a description of th ...

  • In this short unit students are introduced to erosion and propose solutions to an erosion problem on school grounds. The teacher first briefly demonstrates what erosion is, and then students investigate examples of natural or human caused erosion on ...

  • Engaging in Argumentation with a Science Seminar: Regional Climate in the Atacama Desert is a three-day lesson in which students apply their understanding of how ocean surface temperatures, prevailing winds, and topography affect regional climates th ...

  • Students construct climographs showing both precipitation and temperature for 3 coastal cities and describe how ocean surface currents affect climate on nearby land. They are provided with the research question, “Do ocean currents influence cli ...

  • The students investigate the heating effects of light striking a surface at angles varying from 0 to 90 degrees. Temperature data is collected over time and graphed. They gather and analyze data and explain how direct light at the Equator results in ...

  • Students will observe/investigate the movement of water through the different stages of the water cycle and determine what drives this cycle. Students are asked to think about what precipitation is then watch a video about why the water cycle is imp ...

  • This activity is for the students to cutout, color code and piece together a puzzle of the supercontinent Pangaea based on fossil and rock evidence of the present day continents. The students will move the continents together using the ...

  • Dynamic Earth is an interactive website where students can learn about the structure of the Earth, the movements of its tectonic plates, as well as the forces that create mountains, valleys, volcanoes and earthquakes. This site consists of four secti ...

  • This interactive tool allows students to gather data using My NASA Data microsets to investigate how differential heating of Earth results in circulation patterns in the oceans and the atmosphere that globally distribute the heat. They examine the re ...

  • This is an activity out of one of the DLESE Teaching boxes. The Teaching Box is titled Mountain Building. This activity is from Lesson 4 Activity #2 called Rock Cycle Journey. Stations are set up to represent different parts of the rock cycle. There ...

  • This is Activity 12 of a set of Level 1 activities designed by the Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM) Project. The authors suggest that previous activities in the unit be completed before Activity 12: Air Masse ...

  • Do you have a great resource to share with the community? Click here.
  • WeatherSchool@AAAS was developed by researchers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to help you explore how different factors—time of the year, location, or elevation—work together to produce the day-to-day weather you e...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the topography of the ocean floor and the tectonic processes that cause it to constantly change. The Seafloor Spreading and Subduction learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — de...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the rock cycle and the water cycle, and their relationship to the flow of solar and geothermal energy. The Earth Processes: Matter Cycling and Energy Flowing learning objective — based on NGSS a...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the vast array of geological processes that happen on Earth, both small and large, and fast and slow. The Earth Processes: Scales of Time and Space learning objective — based on NGSS and state s...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about Earth’s geological history, the maps that scientists use to model it, and the evidence that helps them create those maps. The Plate Tectonics learning objective — based on NGSS and state standar...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the stages of the water cycle and the factors that drive its processes. The Water Cycle learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the movement of water and air in the atmosphere and how this movement causes changes in the weather. The Water Cycle and Weather Patterns learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards —...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the way the sun’s energy and the earth’s gravity combine to cause the motion of water through the water cycle. The Role of Sunlight and Gravity in the Water Cycle learning objective — based on N...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn why ocean currents exist, what keeps them in motion, and how scientists study them. The Ocean Currents learning objective delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroo...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the process of erosion, how it alters the planet, and why it is so powerful. The Weathering and Erosion learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagem...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn the difference between weather and climate, and the characteristics that affect them both. The Weather and Climate Factors learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved st...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the observational tools meteorologists use to forecast the weather, and what those forecasts mean. The Weather Prediction learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improv...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about ocean currents and how they transfer thermal energy to change air temperatures. The Influence of Oceans on Weather and Climate learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers i...

  • Students are presented with a guide to rain garden construction in an activity that culminates the unit and pulls together what they have learned and prepared in materials during the three previous associated activities. They learn about the four ver...

  • STEAM PBL learning at the intersection of place-knowing, critical thinking, and creative making

  • This is NASA's website for GPM. This differs from the educational website created for teaching and learning. However, it will provide higher level scientific information that you may find valuable for students ready for this level of learning.

  • This contains the PPT presentation and resource links for the session.

  • Free iBook from the iTunes store. This book, which is the basis of our presentation, provides students with the scientific basis of climate change, modeling, and data visualization.

  • Climate science, data visualization, and systems thinking for middle and high school students and their teachers.

  • Slide deck with images in presentation for Why So Dry? The Atacama Anomaly.

  • Three dimensional science lessons arranged by core idea. Lessons are in the GRC (gather, reason, communicate) format. Excellent lesson resource!

  • Videos and media that provide student information about topics related to the Atacama Anomaly.

  • In this worksheet-based activity, students review global visualizations of incoming sunlight and surface temperature and discuss seasonal change. Students use the visualizations to support inquiry on the differences in seasonal change in the Northern...

  • An interactive simulation that allows the user to adjust mountain snowfall and temperature to see the glacier grow and shrink in response.

  • This lesson explores El Niño by looking at sea surface temperature, sea surface height, and wind vectors in order to seek out any correlations there may be among these three variables using the My NASA Data Live Access Server. The lesson guides the ...

  • In this activity, students learn about sea ice extent in both polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic). They start out by forming a hypothesis on the variability of sea ice, testing the hypothesis by graphing real data from a recent 3-year period to lear...

  • This is a classroom activity about the forcing mechanisms for the most recent cold period: the Little Ice Age (1350-1850). Students receive data about tree ring records, solar activity, and volcanic eruptions during this time period. By comparing and...

  • In this activity, students use the GLOBE Student Data Archive and visualizations to explore changes in regional and seasonal temperature patterns.

  • In this activity students work with real datasets to investigate a real situation regarding disappearing Arctic sea ice. The case study has students working side-by-side with a scientist from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and an Inuit communi...

  • This activity teaches students about the albedo of surfaces and how it relates to the ice-albedo feedback effect. During an experiment, students observe the albedo of two different colored surfaces by measuring the temperature change of a white and ...

  • This activity develops students' understanding of climate by having them make in-depth examinations of historical climate patterns using both graphical and map image formats rather than presenting a general definition of climate. Students explore loc...

  • In this activity, students develop an understanding of the relationship between natural phenomena, weather, and climate change: the study known as phenology. In addition, they learn how cultural events are tied to the timing of seasonal events. Stude...

  • Students use real satellite data to determine 1) where the greatest concentrations of aerosols are located during the course of a year in the tropical Atlantic region and 2) their source of origin. This is an inquiry-style lesson where students pull ...

  • In this activity students explore recent changes in the Arctic's climate that have been observed and documented by indigenous Arctic residents. Students watch a video, take notes, and create a concept map. Students also examine and graph historical w...

  • In this classroom activity, students access sea surface temperature and wind speed data from a NASA site, plot and compare data, draw conclusions about surface current and sea surface temperature, and link their gained understanding to concerns about...

  • This classroom activity is aimed at an understanding of different ecosystems by understanding the influence of temperature and precipitation. Students correlate graphs of vegetation vigor with those of temperature and precipitation data for four dive...

  • In this activity, students compare two photographs (with time spans of 30-100 years between photos) of specific Alaskan glaciers to observe how glaciers have changed over the time interval. Activity is a good kickoff for learning about glaciology - h...

  • This multi-part activity introduces users to normal seasonal sea surface temperature (SST) variation as well as extreme variation, as in the case of El Niño and La Niña events, in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Via a THREDDS server, users learn how ...

  • In this activity students download satellite images displaying land surface temperature, snow cover, and reflected short wave radiation data from the NASA Earth Observation (NEO) Web site. They then explore and animate these images using the free too...

  • In this activity students use NASA satellite data to study changes in temperature and snow-ice coverage in the South Beaufort Sea, Alaska. They will then correlate the data with USGS ground tracking of polar bears and relate their findings to global ...

  • This is a sequence of 5 classroom activities focusing on the El Niño climate variability. The activities increase in complexity and student-directedness. The focus of the activities is on accessing and manipulating real data to help students underst...

  • This visualization tool shows sea ice data from 1978 to the present. Selected data can be animated to show changes in sea ice extent over time. Data is added by the National Snow and Ice Data Center as it becomes available.

  • This is a five-activity module that explores the evidence for and impacts of melting glacial ice, with resources from major institutions and scientists who study glaciers -- primarily in Arctic areas. The suite of activities includes both glaciers an...

  • In this activity, students make a model sea floor sediment core using two types of buttons to represent fossil diatoms. They then compare the numbers of diatom fossils in the sediment at different depths to determine whether the seas were free of ice...

  • In this activity, students chart temperature changes over time in Antarctica's paleoclimate history by reading rock cores. Students use their data to create an interactive display illustrating how Antarctica's climate timeline can be interpreted fro...

  • Students investigate how sea levels might rise when ice sheets and ice caps melt. By constructing a pair of models, students can observe the effects of ice melt in two different situations.

  • This lesson is a lab in which students use thermometers, white and dark paper, and lamps to measure differences in albedo between the light and dark materials. Connections are made to albedo in Antarctica.

  • This teaching activity is an introduction to how ice cores from the cryosphere are used as indicators and record-keepers of climate change as well as how climate change will affect the cryosphere.

  • The activity takes a hands-on approach to understanding El Niño by physically showing and feeling the process. It consists of an El Niño demo to be performed by the teacher and observed by the class as well as an experiment to be conducted by the s...

  • This lesson plan has students working in small groups to research the Mountain Pine Beetle in Colorado and other inter-mountain Western states. Students identify the factors that control pine beetle population and research how warmer winters and decr...

  • In this activity, students use NASA satellite data to explore the seasonal changes in sea surface temperatures of the Gulf Stream. Students use NASA's Live Active Server (LAS) to generate data of sea surface temperatures in the Gulf Stream, which the...

  • In this activity, students learn about the relationship between greenhouse gases and global warming through a simple teacher demo or hands-on lab activity. Everyday materials are used: beakers, baking soda, vinegar, candle, thermometers, heat source ...

  • The NOAA Ocean Service Education lab requires students create and manipulate solutions simulating different ocean water characteristics in order to recognize that the effects of salinity and temperature are the drivers of thermohaline circulation.

  • Video and animations of sea level from NASA's Climate website. Since 1992, NASA and CNES have studied sea surface topography as a proxy for ocean temperatures. NASA Missions TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason 1 and Jason 2 have been useful in predicting major cli...

  • This video highlights research conducted at Woods Hole on how heat absorbed by the ocean and changes of ocean chemistry from human activities could lead to a tipping point for marine life and ecosystems. Includes ice bath experiment that models the t...

  • This video adapted from Bullfrog Films examines the effects of global warming on the Pacific island of Samoa with testimonials from an expert in both western science knowledge and traditional ecological knowledge. Background essay and discussion ques...

  • Video presents a broad overview of what (NASA) satellites can tell us about how climate change is affecting oceans.

  • This activity includes an assessment, analysis, and action tool that can be used by classrooms to promote understanding of how the complex current issues of energy, pollution, supply, and consumption are not just global but also local issues.

  • A collection of repeat photography of glaciers from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The photos are taken years apart at or near the same location, and at the same time of year. These images illustrate how dramatically glacier positions...

  • In this activity, students collect weather data over several days or weeks, graph temperature data, and compare the temperature data collected with long-term climate averages from where they live. Understanding the difference between weather and clim...

  • This video describes why tropical ice cores are important and provide different information than polar ice cores, why getting them now is important (they are disappearing), and how scientists get them. The work of glaciologist Lonnie Thompson is feat...

  • This video montage of spectacular NASA satellite images set to music shows different types of ice and ice features as well as descriptions of satellite-based measurements of ice cover. Text captioning describes how global ice cover is changing, and ...

  • In this video, students learn that scientific evidence strongly suggests that different regions on Earth do not respond equally to increased temperatures. Ice-covered regions appear to be particularly sensitive to even small changes in global tempera...

  • This NASA video discusses the impacts of the sun's energy, Earth's reflectance, and greenhouse gases on the Earth System.

  • This is an animation from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Students Guide to Global Climate Change, one of a series of web pages and videos about the basics of the greenhouse effect.

  • This video focuses on the conifer forest in Alaska to explore the carbon cycle and how the forest responds to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Topics addressed in the video include wildfires, reflectivity, and the role of permafrost in the global c...

  • This collection of photos from the NASA Climate website features images of global change, such as floods, wildfires, and retreating glaciers. Not all images show change caused directly by climate change and energy use, and descriptive captions indica...

  • This detailed animated map shows global weather and climate events from the beginning of 2009 to the present. As the animation plays, specific events are highlighted to provide context and details for the viewer.

  • This music video features a rap song about some of the causes and effects of climate change with the goal of increasing awareness of climate change and how it will impact nature and humans.

  • A simple click-through animation from Scripps Institute's Earthguide program breaks the complex topic of the global energy balance into separate concepts. Slides describe the different pathways for incoming and outgoing radiation.

  • This video segment describes climate data collection from Greenland ice cores that indicate Earth's climate can change abruptly over a single decade rather than over thousands of years. The narrator describes how Earth has undergone dramatic climate ...

  • This is a short NASA video on the water cycle. The video shows the importance of the water cycle to nearly every natural process on Earth and illustrates how tightly coupled the water cycle is to climate.

  • This video from a 2005 NOVA program features scientists who study the Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier in western Greenland. The glacier is shrinking and moving faster due to increased melting in recent years. The video includes footage of scientists in th...

  • This video is narrated by climate scientist Richard Alley. It examines studies US Air Force conducted over 50 years ago on the warming effects of CO2 in the atmosphere and how that could impact missile warfare. The video then focuses on the Franz Jos...

  • This NOAA visualization on YouTube shows the seasonal variations in sea surface temperatures and ice cover from 1985 to 2007. The visualization is based on data collected by NOAA polar-orbiting satellites. El Niño and La Niña are easily identified,...

  • A computer animation on the reason for the seasons. Voice-over describes the motion of Earth around the sun to show how the sun's light impacts the tilted Earth at different times of the year, causing seasonal changes.

  • This NASA animation depicts thermohaline circulation in the ocean and how it relates to salinity and water density. It illustrates the sinking of water in the cold, dense ocean near Iceland and Greenland. The surface of the ocean then fades away and ...

  • In this video, a team of paleontologists, paleobotanists, soil scientists, and other researchers take to the field in Wyoming's Bighorn Basin to document how the climate, plants, and animals there changed during the Paleocene- Eocene Thermal Maximum ...

  • This video describes the effect of a warming climate on the tundra biome and specifically the impacts of changing climate on the Rocky Mountain Pika, a small mammal that struggles with summer heat.

  • This short NASA video focuses on the Aquarius satellite, which was launched in 2011 to observe how variations in ocean salinity relate to climatic changes. By measuring salinity globally, Aquarius shows the ocean's role in climate change and climate'...

  • This video, along with a background essay, focuses on impacts of climate change on the lives of Native Alaskans around Barrow, Alaska. Specific changes include the timing of the changes in the formation and breakout of sea ice and the impacts on subs...

  • This video and accompanying essay examine ways to reduce the environmental impact of burning coal. Two technologies are discussed: turning solid coal into a clean-burning fuel gas (syngas), and capture and storage of CO2.

  • This video discusses the differences between climate and weather by defining and presenting examples of each. When presenting examples of weather, the video focuses on severe events and how meteorologists predict and study the weather using measurem...

  • This video segment, from the 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' featuring climate expert Richard Alley, shows how ice cores stored at the National Ice Core Lab provide evidence that ancient ice contains records of Earth's past climate - specifically carb...

  • This video provides a comprehensive introduction to the role of coral reefs, the physiology of corals, and the impacts of ocean warming and acidification on coral survival. It highlights experts from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and the U...

  • This is a basic animation/simulation with background information about the greenhouse effect by DAMOCLES. The animation has several layers to it that allow users to drill into more detail about the natural greenhouse effect and different aspects of i...

  • This video discusses two key signs of global change in the Southern Ocean: changes in Antarctic bottom water and ocean acidification.

  • This short video from NASA discusses the role that salinity plays in Earth's climate and ocean circulation, focusing on the observations of the Aquarius satellite.

  • This video features changes in the land, sea, and animals that are being observed by the residents of Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories, Canada — many of whom hunt, trap, and fish—because of their long-standing and intimate connection with the...

  • This NASA video explores the relationship between climate and agriculture. The video discusses the variability of climate impacts in different regions, as well as the effects of population growth and higher demands for food in areas that already str...

  • This video segment from 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' explores how we know that today’s increased levels of CO2 are caused by humans burning fossil fuels and not by some natural process, such as volcanic out-gassing. Climate scientist Richard Alle...

  • A simple three-part diagram from UNEP GRID Vital Water Graphics showing how global warming could impact coastlines and populated areas of Bangladesh with a 1 and 1.5 meter sea level rise relative to the current coastline.

  • This short video examines the recent melting ice shelves in the Antarctica Peninsula; the potential collapse of West Antarctic ice shelf; and how global sea levels, coastal cities, and beaches would be affected.

  • This short video shows an example of melting alpine glaciers in the Austrian Alps (Goldberg Glacier). Disappearing alpine glaciers have social and environmental impacts, including the decline of fresh water supplies and contributions to sea level ris...

  • This interactive visualization adapted from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey illustrates the concept of albedo, which is the measure of how much solar radiation is reflected from Earth's surface.

  • This video discusses the social and economic impacts (worldwide and in the US) of sea level rise caused by global warming (aired April 1, 2011). Note: you may need to scroll down the Changing Planet video page to get to this video.

  • This video addresses two ways in which black carbon contributes to global warming. When in the atmosphere, it absorbs sunlight and generates heat, warming the air. When deposited on snow and ice, black carbon changes the albedo of the surface. The vi...

  • The video addresses impact of warming temperatures on major lakes of the world with specific focus on Lake Superior and Lake Tanganyika. It discusses the science of water stratification and its impact on lake ecosystems and on human populations whos...

  • Bell Telephone Science Hour produced this video in 1958, explaining how the production of CO2 from factories and automobiles is causing the atmosphere to warm, melting the polar ice caps, and causing the sea level to rise.

  • This PBS video focuses on sea level rise in Norfolk, Virginia and how the residents are managing the logistical, financial and political implications. Science journalists who have been studying Norfolk's rising sea level problems are interviewed, as ...

  • This is the first of three short videos showcasing the dramatic changes in Alaska's marine ecosystems. This introduction to the impacts of climate change in Alaska includes interviews with Alaska Natives, commentary by scientists, and footage from Al...

  • This video clip highlights the effort on by a group of young students to ban the use of plastic shopping bags in the city of Santa Monica. The video documents the effort and provides visual testimony of the effects that trash and specifically plastic...

  • This NBC Learn video features climate scientists doing their research on Mt. Kilimanjaro to study the climate of the past. The scientists put the recently observed changes on the glacier into perspective by comparing past climate fluctuations, stress...

  • This short video uses animated imagery from satellite remote sensing systems to illustrate that Earth is a complex, evolving body characterized by ceaseless change. Adapted from NASA, this visualization helps explain why understanding Earth as an int...

  • With this simulation from the NASA Climate website, learners explore different examples of how ice is melting due to climate change in four places where large quantities of ice are found. The photo comparisons, graphs, animations, and especially the ...

  • This activity from the Department of Energy provides background information about solar ovens and instructions on building a simple model solar cooker.

  • These slide sets (one for the Eastern US and one for the Western US) describe how citizen observations can document the impact of climate change on plants and animals. They introduce the topic of phenology and data collection, the impact of climate c...

  • Coral Reefs in Hot Water is a short video displaying computerized data collected on the number of reefs impacted by coral bleaching around the world.

  • This video highlights the Pentagon's focus on climate change as the military examines potential risks, strategic responses, and impacts of climate change on future military and humanitarian missions. In 2010, for the first time, the Pentagon focused ...

  • This National Geographic video explains the origins of the El Niño Southern Oscillation using animations and shows the impacts on humans, wildlife and habitat, particularly in the United States.

  • This is a National Geographic short video that briefly describes how succulent plants in the South African Karoo biome are dying off due to changes in climate.

  • A video from the Extreme Ice Survey in which Dr. Tad Pfeffer and photographer Jim Balog discuss the dynamics of the Columbia glacier's retreat in recent years through this time-lapse movie. Key point: glacier size is being reduced not just by glacial...

  • This video examines the thawing of permafrost due to changes in climate and shows examples of the impacts that warming temperatures have on permafrost in the Arctic, including the release of the greenhouse gas methane. Dramatic results are shown, inc...

  • This video introduces phytoplankton - the base of the marine food web, the source of half of the oxygen on Earth, and an important remover of CO2 from the atmosphere. The video also explains how satellites are used to monitor phytoplankton and how wa...

  • A short video on how changing climate is impacting the ecosystem and thereby impacting traditional lifestyles of the Athabaskan people of Alaska.

  • In this activity, students learn how to read, analyze, and construct climographs. These climographs are a graphic way of displaying monthly average temperature and precipitation. Students also practice matching climographs to various locations and su...

  • An interactive simulation of Earth's seasonal dynamics that includes the axial tilt and other aspects of Earth's annual cycle. This is part of a larger lab from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln: http://astro.unl.edu/naap/motion1/motion1.html

  • This video provides an overview of changes happening in the Arctic.

  • An interactive visualization tool to examine geocentric seasonal and latitudinal variability in solar energy reaching Earth's surface.

  • This qualitative graphic illustrates the various factors that affect the amount of solar radiation hitting or being absorbed by Earth's surface such as aerosols, clouds, and albedo.

  • This Changing Planet video documents scientists' concerns regarding how melting Arctic sea ice will increase the amount of fresh water in the Beaufort Gyre, which could spill out into the Atlantic and cause major climate shifts in North America and W...

  • In this activity, students learn about the tools and methods paleoclimatologists use to reconstruct past climates. In constructing sediment cores themselves, students will achieve a very good understanding of the sedimentological interpretation of pa...

  • This video on phenology of plants and bees discusses the MODIS satellite finding that springtime greening is happening one half-day earlier each year and correlates this to bee pollination field studies.

  • In this activity, students are guided through the process of locating and graphing web-based environmental data that has been collected by GLOBE Program participants using actual data collected by students in Pennsylvania and comparing them to their ...

  • This activity offers an introduction to working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) by using field data on the Urban Heat Island Effect that was collected by students. The field data is entered in the GIS, displayed in a map, and analyzed.

  • This is a real-time map of current drought conditions in the US, which can be zoomed to the state level, with access to many more resources at that level. Some of these include the National Drought Regional Summaries and animations of historical dat...

  • This is an interactive map that illustrates the scale of potential flooding in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida due to projected sea level rise. It is a collaborative project of NOAA Sea Grant Consortium and the US Geological Survey. It is a pilot ...

  • This National Weather Service interactive visualization includes outlook maps for different types weather predictions. The map includes temperature and precipitation predictions for up to 3 months out, as well as predictions for tropical hazards, wea...

  • This activity introduces students to visualization capabilities available through NASA's Earth Observatory, global map collection, NASA NEO and ImageJ. Using these tools, students build several animations of satellite data that illustrate carbon path...

  • In this activity, students reconstruct past climates using lake varves as a proxy to interpret long-term climate patterns. Students use data from sediment cores to understand annual sediment deposition and how it relates to weather and climate patter...

  • In this learning activity, students use a web-based geologic timeline to examine temperature, CO2 concentration, and ice cover data to investigate how climate has changed during the last 715 million years.

  • Citizen scientist Anya, an indigenous Siberian girl, witnesses the changes in her community as a result of climate change after working with Woods Hole scientist Max Holmes' research team aboard her father's ship. She gets involved in collecting wate...

  • This is a video overview of the history of climate science, with the goal of debunking the idea that in the 1970s, climate scientists were predicting global cooling.

  • This is an interactive map of California and the Sierra Nevada mountains, showing how the amount of water stored in the snowpack will vary under different climate scenarios. The tool shows observations and projections from 1950 to 2090, and uses low ...

  • This interactive map allows students to experiment with decadal average temperature projections. Overall temperatures are expected to rise throughout the century and this tool demonstrates those projected measurements.

  • This interactive visualization provides a clear, well-documented snapshot of current and projected values of several climate variables for local areas in California. The climate variables include observed and projected temperatures, projected snowpa...

  • Set of annotated graphs indicating sea level change observed and projected (projections from IPCC 2001).

  • This gallery of ten temperature graphs shows global temperatures on different timescales from decades (recently measured temperatures) to centuries (reconstructed) to millions of years (modeled from ice cores).

  • This map shows the pattern of thermohaline circulation. This collection of currents is responsible for the large-scale exchange of water masses in the ocean, including providing oxygen to the deep ocean. The entire circulation pattern takes ~2000 yea...

  • This video describes how the normal thousands-of-years-long balance of new ice creation and melting due to ocean currents has been disrupted recently by warmer ocean currents. As a result, glacier tongues that overhang the interface between ice and ...

  • This audio slideshow examines the changes in the ecosystem that will occur to the Arctic due to increasing temperatures and disappearing sea ice.

  • This video focuses on the science of climate change and its impacts on wildlife on land and in the sea, and their habitats in the U.S. There are short sections on walruses, coral reefs, migrating birds and their breeding grounds, freshwater fish, bee...

  • In this audio slideshow, an ecologist from the University of Florida describes the radiocarbon dating technique that scientists use to determine the amount of carbon within the permafrost of the Arctic tundra. Understanding the rate of carbon release...

  • This short video describes how the compression of Antarctic snow into ice captures air from past atmospheres. It shows how ice cores are drilled from the Antarctic ice and prepared for shipment and subsequent analysis.

  • In this video, a PhD Student from the University of Maine explains how ice cores are used to study global climate change.

  • In this video a scientist explains how DNA extracted from ancient tree remains provides insights about how trees/plants have adapted, over time, to changes in CO2 in the atmosphere. Her lab research investigates changes in plant genotypes under expe...

  • In this video, the mountain pine beetle problem is explained by two scientists. Their research investigates the beetle and how climate change is hastening its spread.

  • An interactive that illustrates the relationships between the axial tilt of the Earth, latitude, and temperature. Several data sets (including temperature, Sun-Earth distance, daylight hours) can be generated.

  • In this video segment, a team of scientists seeks evidence to support their hypothesis that atmospheric warming may cause water to form beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet. This water causes ice streams to flow much more quickly than the rest of the...

  • This video features University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher John Magnuson, who studies the ecology of freshwater systems. He explains the difference between weather and climate using data on ice cover from Lake Mendota in Madison, WI. Analysis of ...

  • This simulation is an interdisciplinary timeline that has been developed to show key events in the climatic history of the planet, alongside events in human history.

  • This video looks at the impact of changing climate on animal habitats around the world, showing how different creatures are responding to changing temperatures and precipitation patterns.

  • This video describes the work of scientists who are studying the precise combination of trees that would be most effective in reducing the level of greenhouse gases in the air around Syracuse, NY. This is a pilot study that will serve as a model for ...

  • This video and accompanying essay review the impacts of rising surface air temperatures and thawing permafrost on ecosystems, geology, and native populations in Alaska.

  • This is a collection of five short videos that show how climate change is affecting fishing, native populations and access for the oil and gas industry in the Arctic. The videos include personal reflections by writers Andrew C. Revkin and Simon Romer...

  • This video segment uses data-based visual NOAA representations to trace the path of surface ocean currents around the globe and explore their role in creating climate zones. Ocean surface currents have a major impact on regional climate around the w...

  • This video illustrates how atmospheric particles, or aerosols (such as black carbon, sulfates, dust, fog), can affect the energy balance of Earth regionally, and the implications for surface temperature warming and cooling.

  • This video discusses how the populous areas west of the Andes are largely desert and rely on glacial meltwater as an important source of fresh water. Because the Peruvian glaciers high in the Andes are in rapid retreat, scientists are monitoring the...

  • This visualization, from the US Geological Survey, provides a simple schematic of the various pathways that water can take as it cycles through ocean, lakes, atmosphere, surface and ground.

  • This video describes how field research -- in this case, making water measurements in rugged mountain locations -- helps us to understand the complex relationships among changing climate, populations, and water usage.

  • This video is part of the Climate Science in a Nutshell series. This short, animated video looks at evidence of a rapidly warming planet. It discusses how air bubbles in ice cores can be used to estimate Earth's average air temperature for thousands ...

  • This short video discusses where carbon dioxide, the gas that is mainly responsible for warming up our planet and changing the climate, comes from. It discusses how the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide comes directly from the burning of fossil fue...

  • This video is part of the Climate Science in a Nutshell video series. This short video looks at the effects of climate change happening right now around the globe, including: more extreme weather events, droughts, forest fires, land use changes, alte...

  • This short video makes the case that rapid climate change affects the whole planet, but individuals can make a difference and make their carbon footprint smaller. Common suggestions are identified for young children to consciously consider what they ...

  • This short video reviews how nations and individuals can work together to reduce the emission of CO2. It discusses strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (energy conservation, renewable energies, change in energy use) and the role that govern...

  • In this video from the Polaris Project Website, American and Siberian university students describe their research on permafrost.

  • In this video, students see how data from the ice core record is used to help scientists predict the future of our climate. Video features ice cores extracted from the WAIS Divide, a research station on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  • In this video segment, two students discuss the greenhouse effect and visit with research scientists at Biosphere 2 in Arizona, who research the effects of global climate change on organisms in a controlled facility. Their current research (as of 200...

  • This video segment demonstrates carbon dioxide's role in the greenhouse effect and explains how increasing concentrations of C02 in the atmosphere may be contributing to global warming. Video includes an unusual demonstration of C02's heat-absorbing ...

  • This video segment depicts how climate change is impacting the migration of Canada's barren-ground caribou. Changes in the plant community and tree lines will change the prime habitat for some herds of caribou. Caribou are faced with adapting to thes...

  • This short video addresses the effects of heat waves on human populations, with African American residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the visual subjects. The narrative is done by a young spoken- word artist.

  • In this video, adapted from KUAC-TV and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, viewers learn how one-celled organisms in permafrost may be contributing to greenhouse gas levels and global warming.

  • This animation demonstrates the changing declination of the sun with a time-lapse animation. It shows how the shadow of a building changes over the course of a year as the declination of the sun changes.

  • This animated map shows prevailing surface wind direction and strength across the lower 48 states of the US.

  • This short video, is the fifth in the National Academies Climate Change, Lines of Evidence series. It focuses on greenhouse gases, climate forcing (natural and human-caused), and global energy balance.

  • This short cartoon video uses a simple baseball analogy (steroid use increases probability of hitting home runs) to explain how small increases in greenhouse gases can cause global temperature changes and increase the probability of extreme weather e...

  • This interactive displays how climate variables are changing over time (temperature, CO2, Arctic sea ice, sun's energy, sea level, etc.) in graphical form. Students can easily examine over 50+ years of archived data.

  • This short video clip summarizes NOAA's annual State of the Climate Report for 2009. It presents a comprehensive summary of Earth’s climate in 2009 and establishes the last decade as the warmest on record. Reduced extent of Arctic sea ice, glacier ...

  • This video documents the scope of changes in the Arctic, focusing on the impacts of warming and climate change on the indigenous Inuit population.

  • This video shows some of the most dramatic fluctuations to our cryosphere in recent years, using visuals created with a variety of satellite-based data.

  • This web page from the National Snow and Ice Data Center contains two related visualizations and supporting information about them. The first visualization gives an estimate of the percent contribution to sea level change since the 1990s from three ...

  • This video documents the challenges that climate change presents for four specific Arctic predators: polar bears, Arctic foxes, beluga whales, and walruses.

  • This short video features the Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network (ALISON project), a citizen science program in which 4th and 5th graders help scientists study the relationship between climate change and lake ice and snow conditions.

  • In this short video segment Native Americans talk about climate change and how it impacts their lives as they experience unexpected changes in environmental conditions. They describe observed changes in seasonality, how these changes affect ecosystem...

  • In this video segment, adapted from Navajo Technical College, two Navajo Elders speak about climate change and differences in the environment that they have observed.

  • This video profiles the Arctic Inuit community of Sachs Harbour and its collaboration with scientists studying climate change. Changes in the land, sea, and animals are readily apparent to the residents of Sachs Harbour—many of whom hunt, trap, and...

  • This video examines how scientists learn about the effects of climate change on the water cycle and what those effects might mean for our planet.

  • This video features CU Boulder Professor Jeff Mitton and his research team, who study the effects of mountain pine beetle infestations on the forest ecology in the Rocky Mountains. They explain the pine beetle life cycle and how they attack trees. A...

  • This video documents the impact of the 2011 drought on the water supply of two Texas towns. It discusses how the higher temperatures have increased the evaporation from open reservoirs, resulting in a drop in water levels. The use of water in fighti...

  • This video, from ClimateCentral, features a team of scientists from the Northern Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling Project who study atmospheric air bubbles trapped in an ice core. This work highlights a period in Greenland's ice sheet which began abou...

  • In this short video from ClimateCentral, host Jessica Harrop explains what evidence scientists have for claiming that recent global warming is caused by humans and is not just part of a natural cycle.

  • This video from ClimateCentral looks at the way climate conditions can affect vegetation in the West, and what influence this has on wildfires. Drought and rainfall can have very different wildfire outcomes, depending on vegetation type, extent, and ...

  • This is an interactive graph that involves records of ice cover in two Wisconsin lakes - Lake Mendota and Lake Monona - from 1855-2010.

  • This short, animated video describes what is meant by climate, its characteristics, and the range of impacts due to climate change. The difference between mitigation and adaptation is also discussed.

  • This interactive visualization allows users to compare projections of Wisconsin's average annual temperature with the actual changes of the last five decades. Text on the web page encourages students to think about the challenges Wisconsin could fac...

  • This article and slide show from the New York Times, features several scientists from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who study the effects of thawing permafrost in Alaska.

  • This is a series of 5 guided-inquiry activities that examine data and models that climate scientists use to attempt to answer the question of Earth's future climate.

  • This hands-on activity is a kinesthetic game illustrating the dynamics of the carbon cycle. Acting as carbon atoms, students travel from one carbon reservoir to another. At each reservoir they determine, by rolling dice, how long they stay in the res...

  • This hands-on activity explores the driving forces behind global thermohaline circulation.

  • This video is one of a series from the Switch Energy project. It reviews the environmental impacts of various energy resources including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables. CO2 emissions as a specific environmental impact are discussed.

  • This video shows where and how ice cores are extracted from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The cores are cut, packaged, flown to the ice core storage facility in Denver, further sliced into samples, and shipped to labs all over the world where scienti...

  • In this video, NOAA’s Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at the National Climatic Data Center, recaps the temperature and precipitation data for the continental US in summer 2012. It describes how these conditions have led to drou...

  • This video takes viewers high into the Rocky Mountain snowpack, where researchers dig snow pits to explore the source of Colorado's water supply. Highlights the importance of snowpack on the supply of fresh water available in western and southwestern...

  • This humorous video suggests what might happen if a weather forecaster reported the weather in the context of climate change. There is a sharp contrast between the anchor focusing on short-term local concerns and the weather forecaster describing wh...

  • As a segment in PBS's Coping with Climate Change series, Hari Sreenivasan reports on the actions the city of Chicago is taking to mitigate climate change in an urban landscape.

  • This short activity provides a way to improve understanding of a frequently-published diagram of global carbon pools and fluxes. Students create a scaled 3-D visual of carbon reservoirs and the movement of carbon between reservoirs.

  • This video features three faculty from the University of Colorado, Boulder (Beth Osnes, Max Boykoff and James White) and CU students taking action with others to help mitigate climate change at a local level. They discuss decisions about energy use a...

  • This short animated video provides a general overview of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, and the greenhouse effect.

  • This video highlights a variety of climate change research initiatives from scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It describes the changing dynamics of Antarctic ice sheets and the impacts of reduced Arctic sea ice. The video illustrates...

  • In this activity, students act as water molecules and travel through parts of the water cycle (ocean, atmosphere, clouds, glaciers, snow, rivers, lakes, ground, aquifer). Students use a diagram of the hydrologic cycle to draw the pathway they travel...

  • This video is one of a seven, Climate Change: Lines of Evidence series, produced by the the National Research Council. It outlines and explains what evidence currently exists in support of humans playing a role in contributing to the rise in atmosphe...

  • This beautifully filmed and produced video describes the changes that global warming is already bringing to Northern Canada and Greenland. Local people describe changes to ecosystems, impacts on culture and life styles, and the challenges of melting ...

  • This 15-panel interactive from NOVA Online describes some of the factors (such as Earth's rotation and the sun's uneven heating of Earth's surface) contributing to the formation of the high-speed eastward flows of the jet streams, found near the top ...

  • This video highlights the work of climate scientists in the Amazon who research the relationship between deforestation, construction of new dams, and increased amounts of greenhouse gases being exchanged between the biosphere and the atmosphere.

  • This video segment features subsistence fishing and harvesting in the Northwestern US. The segment was adapted from a student video produced at Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Washington.

  • This short video from Climate Central explains the technology used to monitor changes in Arctic sea ice. Long-term tracking (since the late 1970's) shows Arctic sea ice has been on a steady decline and this could have significant implications for g...

  • In this video, a spokesperson for the National Climactic Data Center describes the methods of using satellites (originally designed for observing changes in the weather) to study changes in climate from decade to decade. The video clearly illustrate...

  • This video presents predictions and solutions for range shifts (wildlife corridors) by an iconic species of North American wilderness: the wolverine.

  • In this lesson, students examine and interpret varied observational datasets and are asked to determine whether the data supports or does not support the statement: climate change is occurring in Colorado.

  • This interactive visualization from the NASA Earth Observatory website compares Arctic sea ice minimum extent from 1984 to that of 2012.

  • In this activity, students review techniques used by scientists as they analyze a 50-year temperature time series dataset. The exercise helps students understand that data typically has considerable variability from year to year and to predict trend...

  • In this lab activity, students use brine shrimp as a proxy for krill to study how environmental factors impact behavioral responses of krill in the unique environment of Antarctica.

  • This is the first of nine lessons in the Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change website. This lesson is an introduction to Earth's climate and covers key principles regarding Earth's unique climate, atmosphere, and regional and t...

  • This video is the first of a three-video series from the Sea Change project. It features the field work of scientists from the US and Australia looking for evidence of sea level rise during the Pliocene era when Earth was (on average) about 2 to 3 de...

  • This animated visualization was created for the planetarium film 'Dynamic Earth'. It illustrates the trail of energy that flows from atmospheric wind currents to ocean currents.

  • This video describes what black carbon is, where is comes from, and how it contributes to sea ice melt and global warming.

  • This video features interviews with native people living on atoll islands in Micronesia, so viewers are able to understand the real, current threats that these people are facing due to climate change.

  • In this short but effective demonstration/experiment, students investigate how thermal expansion of water might affect sea level.

  • This video illustrates how one community developed and implemented a sustainable solution to help keep stream water cool enough for healthy fish. Their solution has the added benefit of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

  • This video provides a good overview of ice-albedo feedback. Albedo-Climate feedback is a positive feedback that builds student understanding of climate change.

  • This is an animated interactive simulation that illustrates differential solar heating on a surface in full sunlight versus in the shade.

  • This is lesson five of a 9-lesson module. Activity explores the effects of climate change on different parts of the Earth system and on human well-being: polar regions, coral reefs, disease vectors, extreme weather, and biodiversity.

  • In this activity, students examine the effects of hurricanes on sea surface temperature using NASA data. They examine authentic sea surface temperature data to explore how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean surface.

  • This video features the story of a multi-generational, family-run dairy business in Oregon. The family strives for sustainability in their operations by conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gases across many aspects of their business.

  • In this short video, host Dr. Ryan interviews graduate student Amy Steiker at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research about her research, using isotopes of nitrous oxide, connecting human activity to greenhouse gas emissions.

  • This video features research conducted at University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, which studies isotopes of hydrogen trapped in ice cores to understand climate changes in the past.

  • For this lesson, the guiding Concept Question is: What is climate change and how does climate relate to greenhouse gas concentrations over time? This activity is the second lesson in a nine-lesson module 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of...

  • This is an animated interactive that displays, on a Global Viewer, NOAA datasets on hazards, ocean, and climate. User can visualize data on phenomena such as hurricanes, humpback whale migrations, carbon tracker, sea ice extent, IPCC scenarios on glo...

  • This video shows 15 years of data obtained via Polar-orbiting satellites that are able to detect subtle differences in ocean color, allowing scientists to see where there are higher concentrations of phytoplankton - a proxy for the concentration of c...

  • The video offers a simple and easy-to-understand overview of climate change. It poses basic questions such as 'What is it?' and 'How will it effect us?' and effectively answers those questions.

  • In this 3-part lab activity, students investigate how carbon moves through the global carbon cycle and study the effects of specific feedback loops on the carbon cycle.

  • This activity is part of the Antarctica's Climate Secrets flexhibit. Students learn about and create models of glaciers and ice sheets, ice shelves, icebergs and sea ice.

  • This short video is an excerpt from the longer video Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification, produced by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). This short version summarizes the science of ocean acidification as well as the so...

  • This video follows Bermuda scientists into the field as they collect data that documents a warming trend in ocean temperatures. BIOS Director Tony Knapp discusses some of the impact of warming temperatures on sea levels, storms, and marine ecosystems...

  • This activity includes a set of slides with embedded images, animations, and interactives that students use to investigate extreme weather events. This is module 8 of a Satellite Meteorology course.

  • This visualization explains in simple and easy-to-understand visuals the causes of sea-level change.

  • This interactive tool allows viewers to explore, by county, the areas of California threatened by a rise in sea level through this century.

  • This interactive visualization depicts sea surface temperatures (SST) and SST anomalies from 1885 to 2007. Learn all about SST and why SST data are highly valuable to ocean and atmospheric scientists. Understand the difference between what actual SST...

  • This video explains how scientists construct computer-generated climate models to forecast weather, understand climate, and project climate change. It discusses how different types of climate models can be used and how scientists use computers to b...

  • This video segment highlights research that supports the idea that warmer oceans generate and sustain more intense hurricanes.

  • This activity examines the impacts of hurricanes and storm surges on coastal communities.

  • This lesson sequence guides students to learn about the geography and the unique characteristics of the Arctic, including vegetation, and people who live there. Students use Google Earth to explore the Arctic and learn about meteorological observatio...

  • In this jigsaw activity, students explore meteorological data collected from Eureka, Canada to try to decide when would be the best time for an Arctic visit.

  • In this activity, students use authentic Arctic climate data to unravel some causes and effects related to the seasonal melting of the snowpack and to further understand albedo.

  • In this activity, students explore the role of combustion in the carbon cycle. They learn that carbon flows among reservoirs on Earth through processes such as respiration, photosynthesis, combustion, and decomposition, and that combustion of fossil ...

  • This video explores what scientists know about how changes in global climate and increasing temperatures affect different extreme weather events.

  • This series of four animations shows how some of the key indicators of climate change (average global temperature, sea level, sea ice extent, carbon emissions) have changed in Earth's recent history.

  • This animated video outlines Earth's energy. The video presents a progression from identifying the different energy systems to the differences between external and internal energy sources and how that energy is cycled and used.

  • This video features a number of different climate scientists describing the effects of the increasing amount of carbon dioxide on global climate and proposing a series of solutions to mitigate these effects. Video addresses health problems and other ...

  • This video considers the current estimates of sea level rise as possibly too conservative and discusses more recent data on ice melt rates coming from Antarctica and Greenland, showing rates of melt at up to 5 times as rapid. Scientists discuss what ...

  • In this video scientists discuss possible rates of sea level rise, storms and resulting damage, rising temperatures and melting ice, and their collective effects on ecosystems.

  • This video is about the Rebuild by Design competition offered to address the structural and social vulnerabilities exposed by Superstorm Sandy.

  • In this activity students work with data to analyze local and global temperature anomaly data to look for warming trends. The activity focuses on the Great Lakes area.

  • This short animation helps demonstrate the difference between climate and weather by using the analogy of a leashed dog walking with a man.

  • In this activity, students use maps and data to learn about where and how hurricanes form and possible correlations with climate change affecting their strength.

  • This monthly bulletin and animation provides regular and reliable visualizations of world weather and climate events of the previous month using NOAA data. Archives are available from October 2011 to present.

  • This short, engaging video created by NASA presents a complex topic via a simple analogy. The idea of positive and negative feedback is demonstrated by Daisyworld - a world with black and white flowers growing on it.

  • The Greenland 2014: Follow the Water video is about Greenland's ice sheet, accompanied by computer models of the same, to show how the ice is melting, where the meltwater is going, and what it is doing both on the surface and beneath the ice.

  • Two short, narrated animations about carbon dioxide and Earth's temperature are presented on this webpage. The first animation shows the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, human carbon emissions, and global temperature rise of the past 1,000 years; the ...

  • This video, from Yale Climate Connections, explores the 2014 melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet that captured headlines. Interviews, animations, and news broadcasts explore what the melting meant for both the future of some of the Antarctic glac...

  • This data viewing tool from NOAA offers nearly instant access to dozens of datasets about Earth through an engaging interface. Users can select data categories from atmosphere, ocean, land, cryosphere, and climate and drill down from there into more ...

  • This high-resolution narrated video shows levels and movements of CO2 globally through the course of a year.

  • This video discusses carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere that have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels in electricity generation, transportation, and industrial processes. Video includes history of Keeling and his research, as we...

  • This is a multi-media teaching tool to learn about climate change. The tool is comprised of stills, video clips, graphic representations, and explanatory text about climate science. Acclaimed photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice team put this...

  • This animation depicts real-time wind speed and direction at selected heights above Earth's surface, ocean surface currents, and ocean surface temperatures and anomalies.

  • This visualization is a collection of maps, by continent, that project the impact on coastlines of a 216-foot rise in sea level, which is assumed to be the result of melting all the land ice on Earth.

  • In this short video, atmospheric scientist Scott Denning gives a candid and entertaining explanation of how greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere warm our planet.

  • This NASA video provides a nice overview of Earth's water cycle from the perspective of looking at Earth from space.

  • This animated video explains how the molecular structure of atmospheric gases can absorb and re-radiate infrared energy. The video uses simple models and analogies to aid in student understanding.

  • This short video illustrates how warming ocean temperature is a major factor in climate change, particularly the increase in severity of extreme weather (notably storms and drought).

  • This is a ten-question quiz of basic to intermediate information about global climate change.

  • This series of visualizations is part of a rich multi-agency effort to showcase the usefulness of open data (i.e., data provided in a discoverable, sharable, and machine-readable format) by exploring the 16-year drought as of 2016 and its effects on ...

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.