Teach the Earth > Data, Simulations and Models > Teaching Ideas > Sea Ice III

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.

Sea Ice III

David Smith, Gary Randolph, and Walt Meier
Topic: Sea ice volume
Course Type: intro

Description

Use sea ice extent fields and total extent data to show change and trends in extent. Compare March and September - look at % change (small for March, large for September) and compare to total change in sq km (about the same for March and September).

Then get estimates of ice age/thickness or volume (Jim Maslanik, Univ. Colorado). Compare these trends for Mar with extent. Extent isn't changing much in Mar, but volume/thickness is decreasing. This translates into the low Sep extents.

Goals

Understanding the difference between relative and absolute change. Understanding the difference between surface changes in the sea ice and the volume changes and how surface changes can be subtle while the volume is decreasing - until the ice gets thin enough.

Assessment

Assess concepts of volume vs. surface, trends, % change, etc.

References

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/ (more info)

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