Climate Change Graph

 

You will need: 120 multicoloured lollipop sticks (at least 10 sticks each of 6 colours), PowerPoint, lollipop.xls, blue tack or similar

  1. Beforehand, mark on the middle of each lollipop stick. On each stick, write the year and the temperature for one of the data points in the spreadsheet (e.g. 1970 14.47), differentiating between global and CET data. Use a different coloured lollipop for each decade – so the 60s are all one colour etc.
  2. You’ll also need to print a blank graph – the spreadsheet supplied will work on A3 paper.
  3. Divide the students into two groups. Within each group, divide out the lollipop sticks.
  4. They should then work together to stick the sticks to the graphs in the right places.
  5. When they’ve finished, ask them to complete the table on the ppt.
  6. What does their graph show? What surprises them? What are the similarities and differences between the graphs?
  7. Next, they should take the sticks back off the graph and, within their groups, line the sticks up in temperature order with the coldest on the left and the warmest on the right.
  8. What does this show?

Leaves as Thermometers

Leaves as thermometers

Leaf shape changes with climate. Generally smoother leaves are found in warmer climates and more jagged leaves are found in cooler climates.

Because the shape of the leaves change with climate, fossilised leaves are used to help learn about past climates.

By studying different types of plant they can gather climate information, such as annual temperature range and water availability that corresponds to the time when the plant was living.

This graph shows the relationship between the temperature and the percentage of smooth leaves found together:

leaf graph

The main problem with this method is that lots of samples are needed to get a good picture of the past climate. 

Using the graph, work out the approximate mean annual temperature if the following leaves were found together:

 

smooth and jagged edged leaves

This resource was originally developed by the Climate Change Schools Project

How Does the Weather Affect You

Use this table through the week to record how the weather has an impact on your life:

 

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

What was the Weather Like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect what you wore?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect what you ate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect what you drank?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect how you travelled?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect your health or how you felt?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did the weather affect your school, work or leisure activities?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classroom Behaviour and the Weather

Behaviour and the weather

Overview

This project aims to extend students’ ideas and knowledge on correlation using the Weather Observations Website (WOW) website. It focuses on looking at the possible link between the weather and behaviour in schools

The project is more suited for KS4 pupils but a high ability KS3 class could probably cope with its content. It involves pupils drawing scatter graphs or using spreadsheets if they have access to computers.

The ideas here can be taught in a few lessons using these resources or they can be made into a mini project lasting longer.

Teachers can adapt the ideas to suit their needs and tasks can be extended.

For example pupils could design a survey to collect information on behaviour in their own school and gather local weather data using the WOW website. It has possible cross curricula links with maths.

Objectives

To develop knowledge and understanding on correlation between two variables.

To investigate if there is a link between behaviour in schools and the weather.

To use the WOW website to gather data on past weather observations.

To design a survey to collect information on behaviour in your school.

To gain experience in recording data in tables and spreadsheets.

To build on pupils’ ability to draw and interpret graphs.

Introduction

In this task you are going to analyse the weather data for a certain town and establish if there is a correlation between weather and behaviour. For instance, do pupils behave better or worse if it is windy?

The behaviour of the pupils was judged by their teachers over four weeks in the month of March and their behaviour was given a score by their teachers on a 1 to 8 scale.

Behaviour scale

The behaviour scale is determined by the teacher with 1 being excellent behaviour from the class and 8 being behaviour that is seen to be unacceptable from that class for that teacher.

 Behaviour no. Behaviour shown
 1 No interruptions from the class
 2 Very few interruptions to the lesson
 3 When they are completing their own work some pupils get distracted
 4 A few pupils start to distract each other and lose focus for longer periods
 5 Level of noise starts to increase and more off task behaviour is seen
 6 Pupils are distracted from their work and find it difficult to work
 7 Lots of interruptions to the lesson from a range of pupils both in their own work and when listening to the teacher
 8 Constant interruptions to the lesson, unable to work in the lesson

Worksheet exercise

Ask the students to use the worksheet to draw a graph. If time and resources permit they can gather their own data from WOW. Alternatively they can use the data from the completed worksheet.

Worksheet 1

Answers for Teachers

Extracting the weather data from WOW 

[the WOW website has changed a little since these instructions were written but it should be clear how to access the data]
 

1. Go to the WOW website address and search for station 3034 or St-Athan.

2. Click on the St-Athan weather station on the map.

3. Click on ‘View Full Observation’.

4. Click on the Graph tab.

5. Click on the ‘Show Filters’ tab and then the ‘Filter Options’ drop down box. Select ‘Air Temperature’ and ‘Wind Speed’, set the date range to the first week of observations, then click Update Graph.

5. To obtain the wind speed readings – go to the correct day and estimate the wind speed reading at 12:00. Fill this in the table of results.

The reading on 27/07/2020 at 12:00 is 9 mph. So write 9 mph for the wind speed.

6. Repeat this for each day of the week and then reset the date range for the next week. Do this by clicking the ‘Show Filters’ tab and then the ‘Filter Options’ drop down box, then ‘Update graph’.

Web page reproduced with permission from the Met Office.

Predict the Graph

For each of the situations below, can you predict what the microclimate might look like by sketching a line or curve on each of the graphs? Each graph shows one measurement, marked with a red dot. 

  • It is a sunny, calm day in the middle of summer. You are making measurements of the air temperature, 1m above the ground, near a large, deep pond, in the afternoon.
graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • It is a clear, cold, calm day in early winter. You are making measurements of the air temperature, 1m above the ground, near a large, deep pond.
graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • You are making measurements of the humidity of the air, near a large, deep pond on a calm clear day.
graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • You are making measurements of the air temperature, 1m above the ground, near a large, tarmacked car park on a sunny, calm summer’s day.
temperature graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • It is a clear, cold day in late winter. You are making measurements of the air temperature, 1m above the ground, near a large, heated building. Add an appropriate x axis as well as a temperature line or curve to this graph:
graph

Justify the shape of your sketched line: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Where would you put…?

Have a look at the National Trust page for Lyme Park – a stately home near Manchester, to get a feel for what the Park looks like.

Now go to streetmap.co.uk and search for Lyme Park (which is in Cheshire).

You can explore Lyme Park on various maps using the Zoom Control:

The 1:50 000 map is an Ordnance Survey map which shows you grid references, contours and the boundary of the National Trust land (shaded purple).

The 1: 25 000 map is also an Ordnance Survey map with more detail. The boundary of the National Trust park is now shown as a dashed pink line.

Think about the following items:

  • A wind turbine
  1. What sort of location does it need (thinking about the microclimate)?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Suggest a six-figure grid reference for somewhere in Lyme Park that would be a good place to situate a wind turbine ___________________
  • A bench
  1. What sort of location does it need (thinking about the microclimate)?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Suggest a six-figure grid reference for somewhere in Lyme Park that would be a good place to situate a bench ___________________
  • An Ice House (this was a building used to store ice through the year before freezers were invented)
  1. What sort of location does it need (thinking about the microclimate)?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Suggest a six-figure grid reference for somewhere in Lyme Park that would be a good place to situate an ice house ___________________
  • A weather station?
  1. What sort of location does it need (thinking about the microclimate)?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Suggest a six-figure grid reference for somewhere in Lyme Park that would be a good place to situate a weather station ___________________

Investigating the Location of Official Weather Stations

Go to the WOW weather observations website wow.metoffice.gov.uk and, under filters, select only ‘official observations’.

Choose a weather station to investigate and use the map to zoom in on exactly where it is.

  • Name of weather station______________________________________
  • Describe the location of the weather station as precisely as you can – which towns or villages is it near, which roads are nearby? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you can, take a screen shot of the location of the weather station and paste it in your work.

 

Now use https://www.google.co.uk/maps/ in a separate tab of your web browser and try and find the location of the weather station (it might not be precisely where it is shown on the WOW website – it could be 10m or more away, so look around a bit). Go to satellite view and zoom in as far as you can – can you find the weather station in the satellite image? If you can, take a screen shot of the location and paste it into your work.

Thinking about the local microclimate and what can affect it, why has this official weather station been placed where it is? Try and list at least 4 factors:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Can you think of any other reasons for why the weather station is where it is  – for example due to how easy it is to access?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Orographic (relief) rainfall and the Foehn Effect

This case study or ‘mystery’ is taken from the afternoon of the 2nd September 2013. It focusses on Scotland and N. England. It can be used for two different purposes – either to identify orographic/ relief rain (use images 2-6 below), or to go on to identify a case study of the Foehn Effect (use all images).

We recommend that teachers present students in groups with a series of images, sequentially, to allow them to work out what the weather is doing and why. 

Expected Knowledge

Students should be

  • Familiar with a map of the UK
  • Know which way winds blow around a pressure system, and be able to identify fronts and pressure systems on a synoptic weather map
  • Know about the 3 main ways in which rain can form (frontal, convective or relief/ orographic rain)

Suggested Lesson Opener

Make a cloud in a bottle or watch the video.

Notes for Teachers 

Students can be helped, where appropriate to identify some of these points

Image 1

Image 1 – temperatures in degrees Centigrade at 15Z (1500GMT) (copyright Met Office)

The temperatures show that it is considerably warmer on the East side of Scotland than on the West. Temperatures are up to 9°C warmer on the East.

Why?

Image 2

Image 2 – a synoptic chart at 12Z (1200GMT) (copyright Met Office)

  • There are no weather fronts over the UK, although the whole country is in the warm sector of a low pressure system over Iceland.
  • There is a High Pressure system to the SW of the UK
  • Winds blow clockwise around a High pressure system, and along the isobars
  • The wind is therefore coming from the west (westerly winds) over Scotland
  • Alternatively, you could consider the winds blowing anticlockwise around the Low pressure system to the North – this also indicates that the wind direction over Scotland is from the west.
  • [We would normally associate this with Polar maritime/ returning Polar maritime air, but, in this case, if you follow the isoline back, the air has come from further south, so is Tropical maritime in nature.]
  • We would generally expect clear skies over most of the UK in this situation.

Image 3

Image 3 – wind speed in knots at 15Z (1500GMT) (copyright Met Office)

Image 4

Image 4 – satellite image at 15Z (1500GMT) : (c) EUMETSAT / Met Office

This is a satellite image from 1500Z (1500GMT) showing visible radiation ie light. The white areas are where the Sun’s light is being reflected from clouds.

There is cloud over the west coast of Scotland and N. England

You can also see the cloud associated with the warm front to the East of the UK, and the cold front to the west.

  • There is no front over Scotland, so the rain is not frontal rain.

Image 5

Image 5: Rainfall on 2nd September 2013 (copyright Met Office)

It is raining over the west coast of Scotland. Why?

  • There is no front there, so it is not frontal rain
  • Is it orographic rain or convective rain?

Image 6

A relief map of Scotland clearly shows the high ground on the East coast.

Synopsis

As the easterly winds blow in from the west, the air is forced to rise. As it rises, it cools until the rate of condensation is faster than the rate of evaporation. Cloud droplets form, which eventually become large enough to fall as rain.

Therefore, this rain is orographic or relief rain.

As the air descends again downwind of the mountains, the air warms and the cloud droplets evaporate.

As the cloud droplets form, they emit latent energy (heat) into the air around. This heat is remains in the air if the rain reaches the ground. This means that, downwind of the mountains when the air sinks, warms, and any remaining cloud droplets evaporate, there is more heat in the air than there was upwind of the mountains.

This is why temperatures were so much warmer on the east coast than on the west on this day!

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

Orographic Rainfall in Scotland

Image 6

Scottish Orography

Global Atmospheric Circulation and Precipitation

  1. Visit https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4285 and play the animation showing most currently available global precipitation data.
  2. Look at the map below. Circle any patterns of rainfall that you see.
Global precipitation map

3. What is the type of land is below these rainfall patterns? (Green is forest, brown is desert).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

4. In what latitude bands are these rainfall patterns?                                                                                                                                                            

Use these terms to fill in the blanks below for Questions 5-8: Hadley, cloud, humid, Sun, cloud, rainfall, low, ground, Ferrel, fronts, Equator, Hadley, poles, rainfall.

5. Rainfall occurs when ______ air cools down. Air cools when it rises, or when it moves away from the _______.

6. The Atmospheric Circulation is driven by the _____. In the Tropics, the Sun warms the _____ which in turn warms the air above. hot air rises, leading to _____ and _______. This drives the ________ cells.

7. Colder air sinks at the poleward edge of the _______ cells and over the __________. Sinking air has no _______ or __________.

8. In the _______ Cells, rainfall is mainly associated with ____ pressure systems (depressions). Rainfall is mainly on the ________.

9. Complete the following table (Look at the map for help):

 

Tropics

Sub Tropics

Poles

Skies

Clear/ Cloudy

Clear/ Cloudy

Clear/ Cloudy

Rain (or snow)-fall

Dry/ Wet

Dry/ Wet

Dry/ Wet

Pressure

High/ Low

High/ Low

High/ Low

10. Sketch what you think the Hadley Cell looks like in December and June by the images of the Earth below. Hint: the Equator and Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are shown on the map.

Earth
Earth

Visit https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=precip_3hr/orthographic to see today’s rainfall patterns. Click on ‘Earth’ and then choose in the Overlay settings ‘3HPA’ to see the rainfall patterns together with surface wind speeds. Change in the settings the ‘Control’ to change the date and see rainfall patterns over time. Compare January and July rainfall patterns.

11. In the Tropics, how does the latitude of highest rainfall change between January and July?                                                                                                                                                                                                          ___________________________________                         

12. How does this relate to the sketches you drew above? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Extension question: Why do you think you are asked to look at rainfall in January and July, rather than December and June? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Climate Zones

Climate Zones

Background Information:

Our planet has several climatic zones; their classification is based on the temperature and precipitation over the seasons. The climatic zones can be simplified into:

Polar and Mountains – very cold and dry all year

Cool Temperate – cold winters and mild summers

Warm Temperate – mild winters, dry hot summers

Arid or Desert – dry, hot all year

Tropical – hot and wet all year

The climate of an area is affected by several factors: latitude (distance to the Equator), terrain, altitude (height)  and how far from the sea or ocean it is.

Materials:

Coloured pencils

Plasticine (white, blue, green and black)

A small ball

A lamp

Suggested activities:

Discuss the idea of different regions of the world experiencing different climates. Make a mind map using ideas from pupils about climate zones and the factors that may affect the climate of a region.

Climate Zones

Colour in the climate map below and colour it in according to the key.

N.B. Pupils may find the subsequent tasks easier if a logical colouring code is used like the one shown. Where hotter regions are highlighted in warm colours and cooler regions in cool colours, for simplicity the polar & mountain climate zones can stay white.

With the map coloured, pupils should look for patterns in the locations of the climate zones. Start by looking at the proximity to the equator and altitude with younger pupils. Explain that climate is in part affected by the absorption of heat from the sun. Different objects absorb heat at different rates (water is slower to heat and cool, land is much faster).

References/Resources:

Climate Zones: Internet Geography

Climates of the World: (Climate Zones) – detailed climate information for individual countries and areas within countries.

Practical Activities:

1. Modelling the Earth

You will need:

– Blue plasticine

– A small ball

– A heat lamp

Method: Make a model of the earth by covering a small ball with plasticine. Put the heat lamp a fair distance away from the ball – maybe 1m. Shine the heat lamp on the plasticine for a few minutes. Feel the difference in temperature between the ‘equator’ and the ‘poles’.

Results: The areas of the ball facing the lamp should feel much warmer than the areas pointing away – either the ‘poles’ or the ‘night’ side of the ball. When the surface of the Earth isn’t at right angles to the Sun, the Sun’s energy is spread over a wider area and it doesn’t heat up as much. This is the cause of much of the Earth’s weather. As the Earth orbits around the Sun, the Sun moves from being at right angles to the Tropic of Cancer to be overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn. This gives us seasons.

2. Modelling the Earth

You will need:

– White, blue and dark green plasticine
[Hint: Mixing some black with the green plasticine makes
a dark green that gives really good results]

– A small ball

– A sunny day

Method: Make a flat model of the earth by covering a piece of cardboard with white (Polar regions), blue (sea) and dark green (land) plasticine. Leave the map out in the Sun for 10 minutes. Feel the difference in temperature between the white and dark green areas.

Results: The darker areas should feel much warmer than the white poles. The colour of the area of land affects the ability to absorb light. Whiter regions (like the poles and mountains) reflect light and darker regions (like vast areas of tropical rainforest) absorb light and get warmer.

Earth
Climate Zones map