In Part A of this lab, students will examine a variety of images and maps of the whole Earth in order to identify the major components of the Earth system at a global scale.
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Students use Phytopia: Exploration of the Marine Ecosystem, a computer-based tool, to investigate various phytoplankton species and topics relating to phytoplankton biology.
The world's ocean is heated at the surface by the sun, and this heating is uneven for many reasons. Earth's rotation, revolution around the sun, and tilt all play a role, as do the wind-driven ocean surface currents.This animation shows the long-term average sea surface temperature, with red and yellow depicting warmer waters and blue depicting colder waters.
The radar measurements made by NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory are sensitive to whether land surfaces are frozen or thawed. Students analyze two maps of SMAP data to make inferences about changes to the Arctic's Geosphere showing spring thaw.
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These six graphs show Ocean Chlorophyll Concentrations from 1998 - 2018 in a variety of locations: East Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, California Coast, Southeastern US/Gulf of Mexico, Northeastern US and the Scotian Shelf, and the Hawaiian Islands. Consider using the Graph Cube to help students with deeper-dives into data analysis. Credit: NASA, NOAA
Students review the NASA video showing biosphere data over the North Atlantic Ocean as a time series animation displaying a decade of phytoplankton blooms and answer questions that follow.
Review this mapped plot of the historic Ocean Chlorophyll Concentrations of key locations around the world for the period of 1998-2018. Also, consider using the Map Cube to help students with deeper dives into data analysis. Credit: NASA, NOAA
Analyze these satellite images comparing Ocean Chlorophyll Concentrations with Sea Surface Temperatures beginning with the North Atlantic region, then expanding global patterns of these phenomena. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory