Elaborate: [This next session is best done by spreading it out over three days, watching the movie at 30 minute intervals]
Watch the first 30 minutes of An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. Discuss what they have seen and understood or any questions they might have.
Watch the second 30 minutes of An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. Discuss what
Watch the final 30 minutes of An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. Discuss what they have seen and understood or any questions they might have.
Evaluate: In science notebook, have the students record things that they individually can do to make a difference in global warming.
Have students record ways that their families can do to make a difference in global warming.
Have students record ways that they can inform and educate others about global warming.
Assessment: Students will return to their concept map they started before the engage section of this lesson. Have them use a different color, record this in their key, and add information to their concept web or make changes.
An Inconvenient Truth DVD by Al Gore
How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate, Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch
Kids Page from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-basics/kidspage.cfm
Dr. Patricia Bricker, Education Department, Western Carolina University
Lesson Title 7: Let’s Get Physical… Features Objective:
3:06 Discuss and determine the influence of geography on weather and climate
Activity Concepts: Students will be working through three centers that explore the concepts of convection, radiation, and evaporation to understand how the geographic features of mountains, lakes, and oceans affect weather.
Process Skills: Observing, Inferring, Predicting, Communicating, Making models, Defining operationally, Identifying and controlling variables, Collecting data
500 mL beaker or glass jar of similar size
Small votive candle
Piece of poster board 12” x 3”
Clear plastic saucer. [Use a plastic saucer that sit under plants, but do NOT have the concentric rings on the bottom.]
small dishes or jar lids (2 per group)
tablespoons (1 per group)
light source (sun or lamp/light) (1 per group)
plastic wrap and or lids to cover dishes
Open, clear container, such as a glass baking dish
Computer connected to internet
Projector for computer
Atlas which contains physical and temperature maps of the United States.
Fold poster board lengthwise [it will act like a funnel].
Place the candle in the pie pan and light the candle.
Put a tablespoon of baking soda into the jar.
Pour @ ¼ cup of vinegar into the jar [the jar begins to fill with carbon dioxide gas due to the reaction of the vinegar and baking soda].
When the fizzing stops, hold the poster board at an angle so one end is near the flame [do not touch the flame to the poster board] and the opposite end is higher.
“Pour” the gas down the funnel. The flame will go out.
Ask students what happened and what actually put out the flame [the carbon dioxide gas displaces the oxygen causing the flame to go out].
[The point of this engage is for students to understand that gases “flow” and are fluid. The following engage piece uses water instead of air. When referring to how the warm and cold water moves around in the following, refer back to the engage to explain to students that warm air and cod air acts in the same way because both water and air are fluids.]
Explore: [Students will be working through three different centers to help build the principles of conduction, radiation, and evaporation. Understanding these principles will help to understand the effect of mountains, large lakes, and oceans on the weather, which will be covered in the explain piece].
Set up the following centers:
Center One: Convection
Place three Styrofoam cups upside down on a sheet of paper.
Place a plastic plant saucer on top off the cups making sure the cups are evenly spaced under the saucer.
Fill the saucer ¾ full of cool tap water. Let the water sit until it is still. [Students need to be very careful not to shake or bump the table during the investigation.]
Use a dropper to slowly release a small amount of food coloring into the bottom of the saucer. Remove the dropper SLOWLY making sure the water is not stirred or disturbed.
Observe and record what happens to the drop of food coloring as it sits in the water. Draw what has happened from the side view.
Dump the water that from the saucer into the bucket.
For the next set of investigations, there will be three trials. [During each trail, students should observe and record what happens to the drop of food coloring as it sits in the water, drawing the view from the side.
Trial 1: Place a drop of food coloring on the bottom of the saucer, but in the very center over the cup of hot water. Make sure that the water is not stirred or disturbed.
Trial 2: Place a drop of food coloring on the bottom of the saucer about halfway between the center and the side. Make sure that the water is not stirred or disturbed.
Trail 3: Place two drops of food coloring on the bottom of the saucer, one in the center of the saucer and one between the center and side of the saucer.
Center Two: Radiation
[Do this outside during a warm time of the year. This can be done inside, if you have a strong enough source of light that can be directed onto the tubs.]
Preparation for the center:
Find three thermometers that match inside temperatures before beginning the activity.
One hour before beginning the activity, fill one jar two-thirds full of water and the other two-thirds full of soil. You will need to get the starting temperature of both jars to match. To do this, add hot or cold water to the jar until the temperatures in both jars are the same.
To register air temperature, tape a thermometer to the top of the 1.5 meter stick and put the other end of the stick into the ground in a grassy area.
To make sure the sun’s radiation doesn’t register onto thermometers, put them into the tubs and shade them with a piece of paper until the thermometers are stabilized.
Students will need to make a data table to collect their data for the temperatures. They will need to collect data for a two hour block in 15 minute intervals. Temperature data for both the soil and water need to be recorded at each 15 minute interval. Students also need to record the beginning and ending air temperature.
Have students make qualitative observations of the water and the soil. Record these observations in their notebooks.
Students then predict what they think will warm up faster the soil or the water OR if they think they will warm up at the same time. They also need to predict what will cool down the faster. Have them give a reason for why they think the way they do.
Have students make a data table to collect their data for the temperatures. Tell them they will need to collect data for a two hour block in 15 minute intervals. Temperature data for both the soil and water need to be recorded at each 15 minute interval. Students also need to record the beginning and ending air temperature.
Remind the students:
The thermometers need to be read at eye level for the most accurate reading.
Thermometers need to be read in the tubs, not being held in hand.
Temperatures vary at different depths so students will need to keep the thermometers at the same depth, close to the surface, when taking all readings.
Decide if students will record their temperature data in °C or °F
Students take their tubs outside to a grassy spot with both sun and shade. Take measurements of the water, soil, and air. Have students record the time they started. After the temperatures have been recorded, students will remove the thermometers and take them inside. Thermometers will need to be brought out for each interval. Repeat the temperature readings at 15 minute intervals
Students will work in groups of two
Each pair of students will get two dishes.
Put one tablespoon of water into each dish.
Cover the top of each dish with plastic wrap.
Set one dish in the sun or under a light source.
Place the second dish in the shade.
Have students observe what is happen and record observations into their notebooks.
Students need go back to their notebooks and look at their data.
Have students discuss their observations. Ask what happens to the colored drop without the hot water underneath, and then with the hot water underneath.
Students have seen the movement of the colored water when hot water was placed under the saucer set up. Explain that this is convection current. Ask students what is causing the current [heat of the water from the cup of hot water underneath]. The heated water becomes less dense and it moves upward, while the colder, denser water moves downward.
Reference to students back to the engage piece and explain that water and air are both fluids, both flow (like the carbon dioxide did in the engage piece) and act in similar ways when they are heated or cooled. In air, convection currents cause warm air to rise, and cool air to fall.
When warm air begins to rise over mountain ranges on the windward side, it begins to cool and is unable to hold moisture and it begins to rain or in the winter, snow. When this air reaches the summit, it begins to descend down the leeward side of the mountain because the air has cooled. Since all of the moisture has been squeezed out on the windward side, the air on the leeward side is much drier. This rain shadow effect keeps windward sides of the mountain wetter and filled with more vegetation than the drier leeward side.
Center Two: Radiation
Students need to look over their data. [The soil should have heated up faster than the water.] Discuss their results.
Explain that soils absorb heat faster than water and soils also release heat more quickly than water. Water warms and cools slowly. This happens for three reasons:
Soils are opaque and water is transparent, so the suns rays can pass through the water easier and distributes the heat energy to greater depths. The soil can only absorb heat energy at the surface because it is opaque.
Water is a liquid and moves more easily and the water molecules help to transport the heat to different areas and depths (through convection). The heat on the soil remains on the surface.
It takes more heat to raise the temperature of water than it does for soil. Water takes in heat slowly and releases it slowly.
In groups, and have each group prepare for the activity by creating a “mountain range” by arranging the rocks near the center of the bottom of the clear container.
Have students use a pencil point to poke 10 holes in the sides of the paper cup, and tape the cup into a corner of the container.
Have students the container with room-temperature water until the rocks are covered.
Students will add three drops of food coloring to one cup of hot water and slowly pour the hot colored water into the paper cup.
Students will observe the colored water diffuse through the holes in the cup, but barely mix with the cold water. Most of the hot water will stay near the top of the container, “floating” on top of the colder water.
Have students repeat the experiment, filling the container with hot water and adding cold colored water to the cup. The cold water will sink to the bottom and diffuse through the hot water until it reaches the “mountain range,” where it will be blocked. The cold water will not be able to pass the rocks because it will be unable to rise over them.
Explain: When warm air begins to rise over mountain ranges on the windward side, it begins to cool and is unable to hold moisture and it begins to rain or in the winter, snow. When this air reaches the summit, it begins to descend down the leeward side of the mountain because the air has cooled. Since all of the moisture has been squeezed out on the windward side, the air on the leeward side is much drier. This rain shadow effect keeps windward sides of the mountain wetter and filled with more vegetation than the drier leeward side.
Go to the internet to the following animation, if possible use a projector so all students can see it.
Explain: During the day, land will heat up faster than water, which makes air rise over the land – a low-pressure area is formed. Since the water is cooler, there is higher air pressure over the water. Air from over the water comes inland to replace the rising air, making a sea breeze. At night, things are reversed – the land cools down quickly, while the water stays warmer. High pressure is formed over the land and low-pressure forms over the water, so air flows offshore. This is called a land breeze.
A monsoon is a land-sea breeze on a larger scale. As large areas of land heat up during the summer (like on the Asian continent), a large area of low pressure will be formed. Moisture packed air from oceans will come on land, producing very heavy rains that may last for several months. During the winter, the airflow will be reversed, and the winds will blow from land to the warmer oceans.
Print the article found in the appendix for students. As they read the article, see if they can find where evaporation plays a part in the process of lake effect snow. [Warm water will evaporate and condense as it meets the colder air.]
Open up the following link: http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_causes_lake_effect_snow.htm
Use the diagram to connect what students have learned about evaporation and the article to Lake Effect Snow.
The following link has good detail about lake effect snows around the Great Lakes, in the form of a blog from a meteorologist. There are great maps and information. http://wx-man.com/blog/?cat=39
Evaluate: Hand students an atlas and have them locate a physical map of the United States.
Ask students to locate specific areas of the country where they would find the following events:
Appendix: Lake Effect Snow Lake effect snows occur when a mass of sufficiently cold air moves over a body of warmer water, creating an unstable temperature profile in the atmosphere.
As a result, clouds build over the lake and eventually develop into snow showers and squalls as they move downwind. The intensity of lake effect snow is increased when higher elevations downwind of the lake force the cold, snow-producing air to rise even further.
The most likely setting for this localized type of snowfall is when very cold Arctic air rushes over warmer water on the heels of a passing cold front, as often happens in the Great Lakes region during winter.
Winds accompanying Arctic air masses generally blow from a west or northwest direction, causing lake effect snow to fall on the east or southeast sides of the lakes.
Whether an area gets a large amount of snow from lake effect is dependent on the direction of the winds, the duration they blow from a particular direction, and the magnitude of the temperature difference between the water and air.
Since cold air can hold very little moisture and the low level of the atmosphere is quite unstable, clouds form very rapidly, condensation occurs and snow begins to fall. Lake effect snow is lighter than snow that forms from frontal stratus or nimbostratus.
Areas of relatively high elevation downwind of the Great Lakes generally receive heavier amounts of lake effect snow than do other locations in this region. For example, residents of the Tug Hill Plateau in New York State east of Lake Ontario can spend the winter months digging out of anywhere from 200 to 300 inches of snow. Likewise, the mountains of West Virginia can receive over 200 inches of snow in a winter, helped by the lake effect. The only other lake that produces significant lake effect snow in the United States is the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts and Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia, on occasion, produce what is called bay effect snow. Bay effect snow forms in the same manner as lake effect snow, only over the ocean.
ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS Questions 1-2 use the following diagram to answer the questions.
What area represents the process of condensation?
What action could happen with an increase in D?
Low pressure system moving into the area
Cumulous cloud formation
3. At 10:30 A.M., Raleigh had a temperature of 65˚ F and air pressure reading of 920mb. A cold front moves into the area in the afternoon, pushing out a warm front. Which of the following would be possible readings once the cold front is over Raleigh?
58˚ F and 900mb
70˚ F and 1080mb
58˚ F and 1080mb
70˚ F and 900mb
4. Which variable normally increases before precipitation occurs?
5. Clouds are formed by
cool air rising
warm air falling
water vapor condensing
6. This picture was taken in May, what type of precipitation will most likely occur from the clouds in this picture?
7. How do weather patterns generally move across America?
a. b. c. d.
8. Which best describes why meteorologists track hurricanes thousands of miles out in the ocean?
So they can warn the people that live there
To study how hurricanes affect other countries
To predict were it will make landfall much closer to us
a. The amount of run-off has been steadily decreasing from
2000 to 2006.
b. The amount of run-off has been constant from
2000 to 2006.
c. Yearly rainfall has increased from 2000 till 2006.
d. Yearly rainfall has decreased from 2000 till 2006.
10. Using the chart from question nine, which of the following could be a cause for the current trend?
Decrease in regional evaporation
Increase in dry high pressure systems
Increase of humidity and low pressure systems
Decrease in precipitation
11. Which describes a land breeze?
warm air rising and flowing up a mountain
cool air moving from land toward the ocean at night
cool air moving down a mountain at night
warm air rising over the land
Which is a true statement about temperatures on water and land?
Water and land usually have the same temperature.
Water heats up and cools down much faster than land.
Water heats up and cools down much slower than land.
Land heats up and cools down much slower than water.
Wizard Test Maker, Version 10.1, Eduware Inc. http://www.eduware.com/
The following is from: Josh Larson, USATODAY.com weather intern, in 2004. Updated in April 2006.)
The discovery of one of the most important global climate oscillations, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO, for short) began with observations the British meteorologist Gilbert Walker made in the 1920s. Walker was stationed in India and wanted to know what caused fluctuations in the strength and effects of the South Asian monsoon. He noticed that a strong monsoon season in India often occurred at the same time as severe droughts in Australia, Indonesia, and even parts of Africa.
After investigating further, he noted correlations between periods of high air pressure in the eastern Pacific occurring at the same time as periods of low air pressure in the western Pacific. Walker proposed a climate pattern called the "Southern Oscillation" to describe this seesaw in global atmospheric pressure and weather patterns.
It was not until the 1950s and 1960s, however, when meteorologists linked Walker's hypotheses with observations of fluctuations in ocean temperatures off the west coast of South America and Walker's "Southern Oscillation" became the "El Niño-Southern Oscillation."
El Niño refers to one extreme in the oscillation — with above-average sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific ocean — while La Niña refers to the other extreme — below-average sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific.
Since the discovery of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, scientists have found several other important global and regional climate patterns, including the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the closely linked North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). There are other global climate patterns, such as the Pacific-North American Oscillation (PNA) and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), among others, but less is known about these oscillations, and they typically have less of an impact on global weather.
The Arctic Oscillation (AO) has a significant influence on winter weather in the U.S. — the northern and eastern U.S., especially — as well as Western Europe. Recent research has also demonstrated a link between the AO and tropical cyclone formation during the Atlantic hurricane season.
The AO refers to a seesaw pattern in atmospheric pressure between the polar regions and the middle latitudes. It fluctuates on a different time scale than ENSO, on the order of weeks and months, though it also shows some tendency to favor one phase or another for years at a time.
The AO features a negative (cold) phase, which brings higher-than-normal pressure over the polar regions and lower-than-normal pressure over the middle latitudes; the positive (warm) phase brings the opposite conditions.
Most climate scientists consider the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) to be a regional manifestation of the AO. In short, they both refer to the same climate phenomenon. When the AO/NAO are in their positive phase, much of the U.S. experiences mild winter weather; when the AO/NAO are in their negative phase, much of the U.S., especially the North and East, experiences cold and stormy (often snowy) weather.
The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is important as well, but scientists don't know as much about it as other climate patterns. In fact, some researchers argue that the PDO is not its own climate oscillation, but simply ENSO fluctuating on a much longer time scale.
In any case, the PDO is similar to ENSO, though on a time scale of decades instead of seasons. It is marked by fluctuating sea surface temperatures in the north-central Pacific as well as near the Gulf of Alaska.
The PDO mainly affects weather patterns in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. This was especially true of the two PDO events that occurred in the 20th century and lasted 20 to 30 years. One phase of the PDO is called the "cold" phase, the other the "warm" phase.