Energy and the Polar Environment: A Focus on Middle School


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Energy and the Polar Environment: A Focus on Middle School

  1. 1. Global Warming and the Polar Regions: A Focus on Middle School Science April 28, 2009 Jessica Fries-Gaither and Kimberly Lightle Ohio State University
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Earth’s energy budget and climate change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define the polar regions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth’s energy budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Albedo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional temperature and sea ice changes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NSES Standards and Misconceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Resources to Enhance Your Content Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Science Lessons and Activities </li></ul>All resources links can be found at:
  3. 3. Featuring Resources From This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 0733024 and 0840824. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. MSP 2 Middle School Portal 2 Math & Science Pathways
  4. 4. Defining the Polar Regions Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID - Arendal Arctic: north of Arctic circle Antarctica: Antarctic continent and Southern Ocean Modified from an online map available from the Perry-Castaneda Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin.
  5. 5. NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center. Used with permission .
  6. 6. Albedo - “Reflectivity” of a Surface Albedo: the percentage of solar radiation reflected back into space A value between 0 (all radiation absorbed) and 1 (all radiation reflected) Different surfaces have different albedos
  7. 7. Geographic Variations in Albedo <ul><li>Ice caps, snow, and sand have higher albedos </li></ul><ul><li>Forested areas or areas with dark soil have lower albedos </li></ul>
  8. 8. Lowered Albedo in the Arctic: A Positive Feedback to Climate As sea ice melts, the open ocean will absorb more of the Sun’s energy, and then re-radiate heat back to the atmosphere. Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library.
  9. 9. Regional Differences Annual temperature change over the last 50 years, based on station data (NASA GISS)
  10. 10. Arctic Sea Ice Age at the End of the 2007 and 2008 Melt Seasons
  11. 11. Let’s pause for questions from the audience….
  12. 12. National Science Education Standards – Middle School <ul><li>NSES Content Standard B: Physical Science: Transfer of Energy </li></ul><ul><li>Transmission (refraction), absorption, scattering (reflection of light) </li></ul><ul><li>To see an object, light from that object must enter the eye </li></ul><ul><li>The sun is a major source of energy for changes on the earth’s surface </li></ul><ul><li>NSES Content Standard D: Earth and Space Science: </li></ul><ul><li>Earth in the Solar System </li></ul><ul><li>The sun is the major source of energy for </li></ul><ul><li>phenomena on the earth’s surface </li></ul><ul><li>NSES Content Standard F: Science in Personal and </li></ul><ul><li>Social Perspectives: Natural Hazards </li></ul><ul><li>Human activities also can induce hazards and accelerate </li></ul><ul><li>many natural changes </li></ul>
  13. 13. Misconception: Only shiny objects reflect light Formative Assessment: “ Can It Reflect Light?” (Vol. 1) Instead: All visible objects reflect some amount of light. The amount of light reflected depends on the color and texture of the object. The albedo of an object is a measure of how much light it reflects.
  14. 14. Target this misconception by... Observing light reflecting off smooth and rough aluminum foil; compare to bouncing ball on smooth and rough pavement Avoid talking about reflection only in the context of mirrors Explicitly connect reflection and vision Identify and observe physical properties such as texture , luster , color , transparency , translucence , and opaqueness Introduce remote sensing images as a real-world application
  15. 15. Let’s pause for questions from the audience….
  16. 16. Science and the Polar Regions Oceans, Climate, and Weather Enhancing Your Content Knowledge
  17. 17. Solar Energy, Albedo, and the Polar Regions Common Misconceptions about Light, Heat, and the Sun Enhancing Your Content Knowledge
  18. 18. Windows to the Universe Climate and Global Change Earth’s Polar Regions Enhancing Your Content Knowledge
  19. 19. Solar Radiation Global Sun Temperature Project Join schools from around the world from March 2 to May 22 as they determine how their geographic location (i.e. where they live) affects their average daily temperature and hours of sunlight. Seasonal Change on Land and Water The purpose of this resource is to further students' understanding of the causes of seasonal change using visualizations to compare the effects of incoming solar energy in the two hemispheres.
  20. 20. Albedo (Absorption and Reflection) Looking Into Surface Albedo This activity demonstrates how the color of materials that cover the Earth affect the amounts of solar energy absorbed. The Shiniest Moon An expository article written for students. Students learn about two of Saturn’s moons and conduct a simple experiment to develop the concept of albedo.
  21. 21. Carbon Dioxide and the Carbon Cycle Using the Carbon Cycle Interactive Game in the Classroom Through an online game, students learn how carbon cycles through the Earth system. Carbon Dioxide – Sources and Sinks Students will use a chemical indicator to detect the presence of carbon dioxide in various substances. Image courtesy of Windows to the Universe,
  22. 22. Climate and Climate Change Using the Very, Very Simple Climate Model in the Classroom Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between average global temperature and carbon dioxide emissions while predicting temperature change over the 21st Century. Difference Between Climate and Weather In this activity, students will collect weather data over several days or weeks, graph temperature data, and compare the temperature data with averaged climate data where they live.
  23. 23. Sea Ice and Glaciers Graphing Sea Ice Extent in the Arctic and Antarctica Students graph sea ice extent (area) in both polar regions over a three-year period to learn about seasonal variations and over a 25-year period to learn about longer-term trends. Glaciers, Then and Now Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century. Images courtesy: National Science Foundation
  24. 24. Let’s pause for questions from the audience….
  25. 25. Thank you! Kimberly Lightle: [email_address] Jessica Fries-Gaither: [email_address]