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# Scotland’s Curriculum – Extreme Weather

Resource produced in collaboration with MEI

Brief overview of session ‘logic’

• Do reports of extreme cold weather provide evidence that global warming is not happening?
• Show the New York Times graphs of summer temperature distributions for the Northern Hemisphere for different periods.
• Interrogate/critique these graphs
• The distributions of temperatures are approximately Normal distributions and the mean and standard deviation both increase as the time period becomes more recent.
• Use the dynamic bell curve to calculate probabilities of different temperatures in different time periods.
• Despite the mean temperature increasing, the standard deviation also increasing means that the probability of extreme low temperatures increases.
• Normal distributions and bell curves can explain a higher frequency of extreme cold weather despite global warming.

Mathematical opportunities offered

• Interpretation of data, statistics, graphs, infographics in context
• Critiquing graphs
• Using standard form to write very large or very small numbers
• Fitting a Normal distribution or bell curve to a graph
• Exploring the effect of adjusting mean and standard deviation on a bell curve
• Understanding that probabilities can be represented and calculated using areas
• Analysing and comparing data in order to develop and present a conclusion.

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