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In some parts of the world sea levels are increasing, while decreasing in others, and remain relatively flat in a few places; for more than 20 years, NASA has been tracking the global surface topography of the ocean to understand the important role it plays in our daily lives.
This activity is designed to introduce students to geologic processes on Earth and how to identify geologic features in images. It will also introduce students to how scientists use Earth to gain a better understanding of other planetary bodies in the solar system.
Students will practice constructing claims using evidence and reasoning.
Students will use coloring sheets to create a color coded model of El Niño. If the Data Literacy Map Cube is used with this, students should color their models first.
Check out this hands-on demonstration of the El Niño Effect, trade winds, and upwelling provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab
Credit: JPL's Sea Level Program
Check out this the Arctic and Earth SIGNs video to explore how climate models are used in climate change research.
In this lesson, students will conduct labs investigate the drivers of climate change, including adding carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, sea level rise, and the effect of decreasing sea ice on temperatures.
Students will investigate the differences in sea surface height during an El Niño event by creating a model with gelatin, sherbet and whipped creme.
Learn how the JASON-2 satellite measures ocean heights for a variety of purposes including monitoring of El Niño.
Can you tell El Nino from La Nina? This interactive was created by UCAR Center for Science Education using satellite images of the height of the ocean surface. Students interpret these images to identify whether they represent El Nino, La Nina, or neither event (La Nada!).