Mini Lesson

Energy and Matter: Sea Surface Temperature

Mini Lesson

Review the NASA Video below.  This visualization shows long-term average sea surface temperature observations  shown on a spinning globe. The long-term average (or "climatology") of sea surface temperature used in this animation came from the World Ocean Atlas 2005.

Sea Surface Temperature color scale
Sea Surface Temperature color scale

Answer the following questions:

  1. In the video, what color represents high temperature values?  Low? 
  2. Where do you see the greatest concentrations of low temperature values? High temperature values?   

    Analyze the line plot showing Sea Surface Temperature in January 2018 in the Atlantic Ocean (15.5 W, 0).

  3. Describe what you see in the data visualization.
  4. How are the ideas and information presented connected to what you already knew?
  5. Make a prediction about what you think these data will show in June and September.

    Analyze the line plot showing Sea Surface Temperature in June 2018 (Left) and September 2018 (Right) in the Atlantic Ocean (15.5 W, 0).

  6. Describe the evidence that supports or refutes your predictions? Explain why you believe this to be the case.

Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio; The Blue Marble Next Generation data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) and NASA Earth Observatory.

Teacher Note

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please contact MND from your school email address at larc-mynasadata@mail.nasa.gov.

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