Cartoon of a rollercoaster whose hills and descents follow the outline of global surface temperatures over the past 10,000 years
January 23, 2014

Today's global warming is happening at a much faster rate today it did in the warm periods between ice ages over the last million years.

Boiled Lobster Plate
October 6, 2016

For New Englanders, the saying “as American as apple pie” may as well be “as New England as lobster.” But warming sea surface temperatures from climate change are forcing populations of the American lobster to higher latitudes than ever before—and upending fishing communities on the New England coast.

 

This 10 minute video builds connections between topics that are important in climate science such as: the impact of variations in Earth's orbit and wobble on it's axis on climate; how the cores being sampled fit into the bigger climate picture; connecting greenhouse gases to melting ice and sea level changes; the sensitivity of the ice melt / sea level rise relationship; and computer model simulations showing connections between ice sheets and sea level.
The companion website provides resources, an extensive list of activities, teacher guides, posters, and more.

Climate has varied in the past, but today's climate change rate is much more drastic due to human activity. Students explore past climate cycle graphs and compare the cycles with the current rate of change.

An applet about the Milankovitch cycle that relates temperature over the last 400,000 years to changes in the eccentricity, precession, and orbital tilt of Earth's orbit.

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.

This figure shows the various astronomic cycles that influence long-term global climate cycles (Milankovitch cycles), plotted on the same time scale for easy comparison.

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 carbon dioxide and temperature.

This animated visualization of precession, eccentricity, and obliquity is simple and straightforward and provides text explanations. It is a good starting place to show Milankovitch cycles.

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