March 7, 2014

In October 2003, a little-known think tank in the Department of Defense quietly released a report warning that climate change could happen so suddenly it could pose a major threat to our country's national security. Why was the Pentagon worried about abrupt climate change? Because new evidence from Greenland showed it had happened before. 

This activity uses a mix of multimedia resources and hands-on activities to support a storyline of investigation into melting sea and land ice.

In this activity, students examine climate variability in the North Atlantic associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NOA) in a case study format.

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 activity covers the role that the oceans may play in climate change and how climate change may affect the oceans. It is lesson 8 in a nine-lesson module Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

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.

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 the animation pulls back to show the global thermohaline circulation system.

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 Western Europe. The video includes interviews with scientists and a look at the basics of how scientists measure salinity in the ocean and how ocean circulation works in the Arctic.

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