Going Further


  • Explore the data in your project to look for other trends. For example, look at the melt extent in years other than 1992 and 2002, such as 1995.
  • Use the internet to find out about world events in 1992 that could have changed the melt extent pattern.
  • Use the Measure Tool to measure, and then calculate the size of one of the melt extent grid squares. How much area of Greenland melted each year of the study? Produce a graph of melt area vs. year.

Other Data


Other Techniques

For teachers wishing to discuss/illustrate the issue of climate change and the cryosphere, without using GIS, the data can be viewed using online tools and resources such as the ones listed below.

Other Tools

View Greenland Melt Extents with Google Earth. Data is available for 1979 - 2007 from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Scroll down the page to see the Greenland files.

Case Studies with Tool

Other EET chapters that use My World GIS and/or other GIS software include the following:

How Cities Affect Their Local ClimateExplore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

Detecting El Nino in Sea Surface Temperature DataCreate and analyze fifteen years of average SST maps to find El Niño and La Niño events.

Evidence for Plate TectonicsIdentify relationships among sea-floor age, earthquakes, and volcanoes to understand how they support the theory of plate tectonics.

Exploring Monsoon Precipitation and Streamflow in a Semi-Arid WatershedInvestigate the effect of summer thunderstorms on streamflow in a semi-arid watershed in Arizona.

Investigating Earthquakes with AEJEEDownload earthquake data from the USGS. Bring it into a GIS and analyze it to predict where the next big earthquake will occur on Earth. 

Looking into Earth with GISExamine seismic wave data in a GIS and analyze wave velocities to infer the depth of the crust-mantle boundary.

Mapping Local DataFollow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of a map-based science research project.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: What's in Your Woods?Investigate forest biodiversity in Maine using a spreadsheet and My World GIS. Then consider the environmental factors that contribute to tree species diversity. 

Protecting Wetlands from Exurban DevelopmentExamine land-use changes around Macclenny, Florida. Propose locations for future development that minimize impacts on wetlands. 

Tsunami Run-up Prediction for Seaside, Oregon with My World GISDownload and examine global, historical tsunami run-up patterns. Acquire DEM contours and import them into My World GIS. Then visualize the potential sea level rise that could occur during a tsunami run-up event near Seaside, Oregon. 

Case Studies on Related Topics

Whither Arctic Sea Ice?Uses remote sensing data from Satellite images and the ImageJ program to illuminate trends in Arctic Sea Ice.

Explore the Role of Snow Cover in Shaping ClimateUse ImageJ to explore and animate satellite images of reflected short wave radiation, snow cover, and land surface temperature downloaded from the NASA Earth Observation (NEO) website. Then use NEO's Image Composite Editor (ICE) to observe, graph, and analyze the relationship between these three variables. 

How Permanent is Permafrost?Use Google Earth to explore the distribution of permafrost in the Arctic. Create graphs to analyze permafrost borehole data. Then compare the borehole temperature record with global temperature trends and reflect on the implications for Arctic permafrost.

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