Climate Variability in the Equatorial Pacific

In this activity, students work with climate data from the tropical Pacific Ocean to understand how sea-surface temperature and atmospheric pressure affect precipitation in the tropical Pacific in a case study format.

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Cindy Shellito
University of Northern Colorado
InTeGrate, SERC

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

It would be useful for instructors to show a larger map (that includes the continents) in the very beginning of the unit so students can better visualize the part of the ocean the activity is focused on.

This activity can be taught in a jigsaw format, with different groups of students examining separate types of data, and then sharing their findings. Alternatively, educators can skip the jigsaw format and have the students look at all three data types.

This activity can be paired with Case Study 2.2 in this unit, [link

This activity can be used prior to an introduction to the El NiÃo - Southern Oscillation, which is Unit 3 in this module [link

Suggestions to the instructor are included in the activity overview.