In “Hurricane Frequency and Intensity,” students use selected historical data to determine the relationship between Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and the location, intensity and frequency of hurricanes. Through their analysis, students should determine that hurricane intensity is directly correlated with warmer sea surface temperatures.
The lesson requires computer access or downloading the maps beforehand. Teachers may need to provide additional assistance for lower level students in the use of the technology and in analyzing the data. The Live Access Server only displays sea surface temperatures on a daily basis, not weekly as stated in the lesson plan. This should not affect the lesson as sea surface temperatures do not change much day to day. Students can also download and print out more days of sea surface temperature maps for each hurricane studied.
In the Questions section, #5 asks about hurricane frequency as time passes implying that the intensity and frequency of hurricanes is increasing over time. According to https://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/extreme-weather/hurricanes, one of the links provided in the lesson, this trend may be exhibited in the North Atlantic, but not in all oceans.
Two of the resource lesson links have a broken URL. The Global Warming and Hurricanes link has moved to https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes/. The Hurricanes, Climate, and Katrina: Research, Reviews, and Articles from Science Online link has moved to http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/misc/webfeat/katrina/.
Estimated time for the lesson is two 45-50 minute periods.