This investigation is part of the NASA: Mission Geography Module "What are the causes and consequences of climate change?" that guides students through explorations in climatic variability and evidence for global climate change.
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Drought conditions have affected much of the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains in recent years. But scientists now believe future droughts in the last half of this century could be the worst in the past millennium.
Students analyze historic plant growth data (i.e., Peak Bloom dates) of Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossom trees, as well as atmospheric near surface temperatures as evidence for explaining the phenomena of earlier Peak Blooms in our nation’s capital.
In Earth System Science, underling factors affecting observable phenomena can be difficult to identify and describe. The Iceberg Diagram diagram uses the metaphor of an iceberg to demonstrate the idea of visible vs hidden as it relates to Earth science phenomena. This teaching strategy helps students to see beyond the obvious and to develop their awareness of the underlying causes, relationships, and/or conditions that can contribute to phenomenological events. It also provides a framework for digging deeper into phenomena-driven lessons in Earth Science.