This is a partially developed activity description. It is included in the collection because it contains ideas useful for teaching even though it is incomplete.
Bipolar Climate Puzzler
Topic: Climate oscillations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres
This activity designed for a capstone activity for an upper-level course.
Description of the activity:
- Develop graphs of data from the GISP and Vostok core data
- Compare long-term scale (multiple glacial cycles) and short-term scale (9,000 - 15,000 year time period) data from Greenland vs Antarctica
- Observation and interpretation of data
- Answer the observational questions:
- What do they notice
- What does it mean?
- What is the scale of this behavior? Frequency of change?
- What could cause this?
- Discuss the relationship between data sets
- Generate multiple hypotheses for cause of observed relationships
Provide research papers or chapters in a book to access background information: Thermohaline circulation; Milankovic cycles
What are the learning goals or outcomes of the activity?
Student will be able to:
- Know basic geographical knowledge such as locations of data records
- Be able to plot the data using a spreadsheet program, such as EXCEL, and make a graph
- Understand ice core data: ice core dating; gas analysis; isotope analysis
- Develop an argument
- Analyze the background readings and draw conclusions
- Students will make a short presentation using prior knowledge to defend a hypothesis<
How would you assess whether the goals have been met?
- Quality of the presentation; understand concepts discussed (use a rubric)
- Use their prior knowledge from previous course work
- Design a conceptual model that goes along with their understandings
References or other resources that would be useful for this activity:
NOAA Paleoclimatology Databases
NOAA Paleo-Perspectives on Climate Timeline
Timing of Millennial-Scale Climate Change in Antarctica and Greenland During the Last Glacial Period, by Thomas Blunier and Edward J. Brook, Science, January 5 2001: Vol. 291. no. 5501, pp. 109 - 112. (abstract)