Initial Publication Date: December 12, 2005
Name of Resource: Climate Variability
Climate Change Theme: Climate Variability
Sponsoring Organization: UCAR
Intended use: Learning Activity
Intended audience: Educators and Learners

Average Review Ratings (Poor to Excellent, 1-5 scale): 4.5 stars

Description: Activity using playing cards that is designed to show why all future summers and winters won't necessarily be warmer if global warming is happening. This is a common misconception. (CM)

Summary of Reviews

Reviewer: Carrie Morrill 5 stars
Comments: The sidenote at the end of the activity is important: "You can also ask students to discuss the simulation's limits—how the activity is NOT like the pattern of climate variation. (While each card pick is truly random, climate patterns can be longer-term and non-random. A sequence of cool or warm years may be caused by globalscale forces and occur regularly, even in the absence of long-term climate change.)"
Read entire review: link text (Acrobat (PDF) 61kB Jun21 05)

Reviewer: Ellen DeBacker 4 stars
Comments: Looks like a really good activity for seeing how climate variability can cause difficulties in deciding if changes in climate are part of global warming or natural variability. Could easily be used as a 2-3 day lab, day one to explain and do a simple set through with graphing, then day 2 to do more complicated version with change values, day 3 to analyze data and discuss.
Read entire review: link text (Acrobat (PDF) 44kB Jun21 05)