GPM Anime Contest Webquest Part 2: Weather & Climate
So, are you thinking about creating an anime mascot for GPM? Do you need to learn a little more about the science and technology behind measuring precipitation?
Part 2: Weather & Climate
Earth’s surface is a complex and dynamic set of interconnected systems—principally the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. All of the earth’s processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among these systems. Weather and climate are shaped by complex interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, clouds, ice, land, and life forms.
As you begin to interact with the websites in this section, first think about what you already know about weather and climate:
- What do weather and climate have in common?
- How are they different?
- Which is easier to forecast?
- What causes the weather to change?
- What tools can we use to help forecast the weather?
- How can satellites collect data that can be used to better understand climate and how it changes?
Let’s begin to explore some of these topics!
This video from NASA Connect explains the causes of weather and describes how we are able to collect weather data as they explore the impact weather conditions can have on air transportation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0-uVQOc4oU&feature=relmfu
You might want to explore some of the different types of severe weather by looking at the many links at this NOAA website: http://www.eo.ucar.edu/basics/wx_3.html
...and this website that is a joint project of both NASA and NOAA; http://scijinks.nasa.gov/weather-menu
You can take a look at current weather maps for the United States by going to: http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/dailywxmap/index.html
Think about a place that you like to visit during the summer. Consider why you like to go there and what the weather is like during the summer. One of the considerations people often use when deciding where to go on a vacation is based on what the climate is like in a certain location at a certain time. How can you find out what the climate is like in a specific location? At this NASA website, you can learn about the differences between weather and climate and find out which climate zone you are in: http://scijinks.nasa.gov/weather-v-climate
Take a look at NOAA’s “Climate Watch” images website to see some of the most recent data on our climate at: http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/Images
You have probably heard a lot about climate change lately. What is climate change? Is this a problem? Doesn’t the climate always change, like the weather? How do scientists know that the climate is changing? Why would climate change cause problems? To learn more about the answers to these questions, here are a few videos that will help you:
To finish off our section on weather and climate, this website will give you an in-depth look at five key indicators that scientists monitor to determine how our global climate is changing. On this website, you can interact with data sets and discover fascinating facts about global climate change: http://pmm.nasa.gov/education/websites/global-climate-change-vital-signs-planet
Now see if you can answer these questions about weather and climate!
- How are weather and climate different?
- What drives both the weather and the climate?
- How does the use of satellite technology improve our ability to understand weather and climate?
- What key indicators are used to determine the rate of climate change?