The Climate is Changing but How's the Weather?

Do meteorologists and climate scientists use the same tools? The final lesson in a 13-part series on Exploring Energy compares and contrasts climate and weather. It describes the scientists who study each, the tools they use, their conclusions, and why both are important. Two short activities help scholars understand both the historic data collection and the future prediction models related to both weather and climate.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Graph the number and strength of hurricanes over a long period of time and discuss any observations
  • Find examples of one or two areas that don't follow the global trend for climate and consider why this might happen
Classroom Considerations

  • Does not require any prior knowledge from previous lessons; it easily stands alone without the rest of the unit
Pros

  • Links to outside resources for extending learning including NOAA, NASA, and the Smithsonian among others
  • Concepts apply immediately to everyday life
Cons

  • None