Using Models in Climate Change Research
Check out this the Arctic and Earth SIGNs video to explore how climate models are used in climate change research.
- YouTube Video - Dr. Katie Spellman and guest scientist Dr. Nancy Fresco
- News Article: 2017 was second-warmest year on record: NASA Five warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010
1. Watch the Arctic and Earth SIGNs video on the right with Dr. Katie Spellman and guest scientist Dr. Nancy Fresco, an expert on climate change models, to learn about what a model is and how it is used in climate change research.
2. Read the following article recently in the news around the country, and reflect on the questions following the article.
- Using what you learned from the model video, what general steps do you think they took to make the model shown in the map above?
- Why do you think the models used by NASA and NOAA gave different results? (How would the different time periods collected by each agency affect the result? Is there anything else that might affect the results?)
- Do you think temperature data collected by your students could help improve global temperature models? Why or why not?
Supported NGSS Performance Expectations
- MS-ESS2-2: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.
- MS-ESS3-1: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
- HS-ESS3-5: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth's systems.
- HS-ESS2-4: Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
- Climate change influences our lives.
- Everyone can understand and DO science.
NGSS themes addressed:
- Practices- Developing models, communicating information
- Cross-cutting concepts- Stability and change, Patterns, Cause and effect
- Disciplinary core ideas- LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems;
- ESS2&3: Earth’s systems, Earth and Human Activity
Culturally-Responsive Curriculum Standards Addressed:
- A. Integrity of cultural knowledge that students brings with them
What are models and how are they used in climate research?