Categories
Climate Change Secondary

New Resource for International Women’s Day 2022

Sustainable development goals 5 and 13

We have created a new resource in time for International Women’s Day 2022, exploring the links between two of the Sustainable Development Goals – gender equality, and climate action.

Taking information from this weeks’ InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability as well as some of the relevant highlights fromCOP26, teachers can adapt the resource to suit their class. 

 

Categories
Extreme weather Geography Secondary Weather

Storm Eunice and Generic Case Study Template

Storm Eunice cloud and wind

We have created a new worksheet which allows students to collect information and create a case study of a named UK storm. As part of the worksheet, students collect and annotate weather chart and other information about the storm including weather warnings. 

Storm Eunice is given as a worked example. 

Categories
Books Primary Schools Weather

My First Book of Weather

My First Book of Weather

This beautifully illustrated children’s book is full of fantastic facts about weather, climate and the world around us. It would be a wonderful gift for primary school aged children, with plenty of engaging pictures to keep infants interested as well as lots of interesting facts and trivia to interest junior children. The author, Camilla de la Bedoyere, has written more than 200 books for children and adults, many of which explore the natural world. Cinyee Chiu, the illustrator, believes in a sustainable lifestyle and is interested in projects about environmental/climate issues.

Covering a wide range of subjects, the author and illustrator take us on a tour to discover: ‘what is weather?’ and ‘how does the weather change?’, including how forecasts and charts are made. The book also tells us about Earth’s past climate, wild weather, extremes and climate change. It covers an amazingly large range of topics and both children and adults will likely learn plenty of new information about weather and climate from reading this book together.

As you would expect, the book starts with a gentle introduction to the atmosphere, the Sun and the wind, but it soon goes beyond the more basic kids’ weather books as it shows examples of how wind is measured with the Beaufort Scale. The water cycle and formation of clouds is shown with accurate representations of the different types of cloud. In the section on how the weather changes, it starts with a selection of nature’s weather warnings, where I learnt a new and interesting fact about how crickets chirrup faster and louder as the temperature rises! This is nicely followed by an overview of how storms develop and how we forecast the weather. The only thing that is missing from this section is some time spent in the book talking about supercomputers and the importance of number crunching, which is somewhat glossed over. However, unlike other children’s books about weather, it is nice that this book includes information about weather charts and weather records. There is a large section on world weather, which spans from Earth’s past climate (both hot and cold) to climates and seasons, making links to migrations and the impacts of weather and climate on people. A weather book would not be complete without sections on wild weather, from hurricanes and tornadoes to extreme and strange weather, which is covered very well by this author and illustrator. Finally, climate change has a prominent place in this excellent book, with a focus on renewable energy and how it is generated.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the content very engaging and interesting, giving the perfect combination to keep children and adults interested from front to back cover. Dr Sylvia Knight (RMetS) was consulted during the writing of the book, so we can feel confident that the content is accurate. I would definitely recommend this book for primary age school children – a great gift and lovely to read with them as an adult too!

My First Book of Weather, Bedoyere, Camilla (Author) &  Chiu, Cinyee (Illustrator) Templar Publishing, 2021 Hardback £12.99, 64 pp ISBN 978-1-787418-50-9  
 
Reviewed by Jenny Rourke for Weather, July 2021
Categories
Geography Schools Secondary Teaching Weather

New Films: Air Masses and the ITCZ

We have made two new explainer films which can be seen on YouTube:

An Introduction to Air Masses

All About the InterTropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)

 
global rainfall patterns
Categories
CPD Geography Schools

GeogPod podcast

geogpod

Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the Royal Meteorological Society was in conversation with John Lyon for the Geographical Association’s GeogPod podcast series. Their conversation centres on the COP26, climate change. the IPCC and some of the resources teachers can use in the classroom. 

 
Categories
CPD Geography Schools Secondary

Resources Highly Commended by SAGT

SAGT award

We are delighted that our “Weather and Climate: a Teacher’s Guide” resource has been awarded a Highly Commended in the Book Category for this year’s Scottish Association of Geography Teachers (SAGT) Publishers’ Awards.

Categories
Extreme weather Snow

When will it snow?

What are the requirements for snow?

There are three main requirements for snow, these are:

  1. Moisture

    There must be water vapour in the air for clouds to form. In the UK, surrounded as we are by sea, this is rarely a problem. As water warms up and cools down more slowly than land, the sea around us stays at a pretty constant temperature all year round and is a constant source of water vapour into the air above, through evaporation.

    It can be ‘too cold for snow’ in the centre of large land masses, such as Eurasia, Antarctica or N. America, where the wind has not encountered liquid water from which water can easily evaporate. It’s really ‘too dry for snow’ – but it’s too dry because it is so cold that the rate of evaporation from the lakes and rivers, which may be frozen, is very, very slow. 

  2. Cloud

    For clouds to form, the rate of evaporation must be lower than the rate of condensation. Evaporation and condensation are going on all the time, but the rate of evaporation falls as it gets colder. So, clouds can form when the air cools – there are several possible mechanisms for this

  • Where warmer air meets colder air at a front, causing it to rise. As the air rises, the air pressure falls and so the air cools (this is known as adiabatic cooling).
  • When air from somewhere colder than us (i.e. Arctic maritime of Polar Continental air masses) approaches the UK, is warmed from below as it travels over relatively warm land or sea which causes it to rise and cool. This is the most common source of snow in the UK.
  • When air is forced to rise over the coast, hills or mountains and, as it rises, cools. This mechanism can add to, or enhance, the formation of cloud by either of the other mechanisms above.
  • If the ground cools overnight, the air in contact with the ground can cool to the temperature at which cloud forms. This is fog and is not likely to produce rain or snow.
  1. Temperature

    It has to be cold enough for the cloud droplets to grow as snowflakes and to not melt as they fall through the atmosphere and down to the ground.  To see whether this is the case, forecasters look at the 528dam (=5280m) line. This line shows where the vertical thickness of the bottom half of the atmosphere (by mass) is 5280m i.e. the vertical distance between the 1000mb height (somewhere near the ground) and the 500mb height (somewhere in the middle of the troposphere). As warm air is less dense than cold air, the smaller this distance, the colder the air is.

If we are north of the line (i.e. the thickness is less than 528dam) then any precipitation can fall as snow, and if we are south of the line (i.e. the thickness is greater than 528dam) then we get rain.

If you look at the surface pressure forecast charts on the Met Office website, then if you go more than 24 hours into the future the thickness lines are shown. The 528dam line is shown as a blue dashed line, and the thicker/ warmer 546dam line as a green dashed line.

Another way to find out is to look at the weather forecast charts (in the charts and data menu) at http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=nwdc;sess= and select ‘HGT 500-1000’ from the ‘select chart type’ menu If the 528dam line is South of where you are, and there is a forecast of precipitation, then that precipitation is likely to be snow.

will it snow isobars
Image of the UK, 5th December 2012

It is also worth having a look at a cross section through the atmosphere for example at http://www.wetter3.de/ – select ‘Vertikalschnitte’ which gives a longtitude/ height cross section for 50N (move the pointer on the right side of the left hand map to change the latitude of the cross section). The air between the clouds and the ground has to be cold for snow to reach the ground.

Lesson Idea

Using the information above, can your students identify which countries/ regions should have a forecast of snow? At the basic level, they can just look and see where is inside the 528 line. More advanced students should try to predict where there will be precipitation. 

Nullschool is a great resource for visualising air flow and air masses. 

When do we get snow in the UK?

More information from the Met Office about Snow in the UK and forecasting snow.

A nice explanation of why we had such a different November in 2011 to the weather in November 2010 from the Met Office and a report on the 2010 snow and its impacts on the UK.

And an article from the BBC about what constitutes a white Christmas. 

Snow inspired science teaching ideas from Science in School.

Dreaming of a white Christmas – an article from MetMatters

Snow inspired geography teaching ideas from the GA.

How to make a snowflake, from the Institute of Physics

From Brilliant Maps; the probability of a white Christmas across Europe

Categories
Blog Climate Change Schools

First Schools Video Bulletin from COP26

The first of our very short daily bulletins from COP26 for teachers to use during registration or lessons can now be found on YouTube

These bulletins will cover highlights about the coming day’s events as well as more general background information about how COP works. We’ll also try and bring in a bit of careers related information. 

The aim of the films will be to help students engage more with this very important event which is happening in the UK, as well as giving them some context for the messages that they get through social media etc.  

Please share with other teachers in your school who might be interested.

Thanks!

Categories
Blog Climate Change Schools

Daily Video Bulletins from COP26

We will be filming very short daily bulletins from COP26 for teachers to use during registration or lessons. 

They will cover highlights about the coming day’s events as well as more general background information about how COP works. We’ll also try and bring in a bit of careers related information. You will be able to find them on YouTube and we’ll try to make sure that they have been uploaded the night before, in plenty of time for morning registration.

The aim of the films will be to help students engage more with this very important event which is happening in the UK, as well as giving them some context for the messages that they get through social media etc. 

The first video will be available for showing on Monday, 1st November. 

Please share with other teachers in your school who might be interested.

Thanks!

Categories
Blog Careers Climate Change

So you want to do something about Climate Change?

In this new set of 11 short videos, we explore some of the many careers in climate change that you could do with qualifications in STEM subjects.

If you want to work in an area where you can do something positive about climate change, but don’t know how, have a look at the work that these people do, why they think it’s important and the paths they took to the jobs that they now do.

If a career in weather or climate sounds interesting, have a look at the further careers information on our website at metlink.org/careers

BACK TO TOP