Climate at a Glance - Time Series

Contributor
National Climatic Data Center, National Centers for Environmental Information, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Data
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

The “Climate at a Glance - Time Series” website is a tool developed by the National Centers for Environmental Information at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for users to examine how temperatures have changed over time across the United States and globally. The tool provides several options for graphical displays of temperatures ranging from world-wide to the continental United States to individual states. Data can be displayed per decade or per century. Different time spans can be selected, for example, the viewer can choose a display of all Januaries from 1895 – 2018 for the contiguous US or annual land and ocean temperatures from 1880 to 2017 for the entire Earth. The data can also be downloaded as an XML, Excel, or JSON file.

The resource provides data only. It will be up to the teacher to design a lesson in which students analyze and interpret the data.

 

This phenomenon could stimulate the following driving questions:

  • How do land and ocean temperatures vary globally over the last century (from 1880-2017)?

  • How does temperature in the United States change over time in the last century?

  • How does temperature change in your state compare to that of other states in the last decade? The last century?

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Middle School
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.

Clarification Statement: Examples of factors include human activities (such as fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and agricultural activity) and natural processes (such as changes in incoming solar radiation or volcanic activity). Examples of evidence can include tables, graphs, and maps of global and regional temperatures, atmospheric levels of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and the rates of human activities. Emphasis is on the major role that human activities play in causing the rise in global temperatures.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students examine changes in global land and ocean temperatures from 1880 to 2017. Data is displayed in a graph with an optional trend line and can also be downloaded as an Excel file as well as in two other formats. Data between 1895 and 2018 can be displayed for the entire United States and individual states for various factors. Average, minimum, and maximum temperatures can be displayed. The resource does not require students to ask questions or clarify evidence about changes in global temperatures so the teacher should allow students to ask questions, then gather data and explain their findings. Another resource such as “What is the Future of Earth’s Climate?” reviewed in the NSTA hub at http://ngss.nsta.org/Curator/ViewResource.aspx?ResourceID=132 will be required for students to examine the factors that have caused the rise in temperatures.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The datasets show temperature anomalies over time. Students should examine temporal and spatial relationships. Students should identify the changes in temperature over time. Students can also collect data from various states to examine spatial relationships between regions in the United States.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The website provides data about global temperatures since 1895. Some questions that could be asked of students are: What caused the temperatures to change? What can society do to reduce climate change and human vulnerability? They may want to use the activity from the NGSS@NSTA Hub mentioned in the Performance Expectation section.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Graphs of temperature change over time are automatically generated by the website. The data is both global and for the contiguous US. The teacher will need to ask students to identify trends in the temperature data. The data can be displayed both with and without a trend line, so the teacher could ask students to analyze data with or without the line for both the US and the global trends.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The activity doesn’t require technological interactivity, but the students will need access to the data from the website. Teachers could also print out the graphs and laminate them for the students.