Climate

    Earth Science Week | Earth Science Resources

With GIS, students investigate real issues that are critical to the world'on a daily basis. It is difficult to think of a topic that is as critical as climate. Climate underpins our agriculture, biodiversity, and our very civilization. The lessons and data for studying climate change with GIS are divided into four groups, based on the GIS used.

Web Mapping
Web Mapping
simple, any computer, no software install, free GIS in a web browser
ArcExplorer (AEJEE)
ArcExplorer (AEJEE)
a free, Mac or Windows application for exploring geographic data
ArcGIS Explorer
ArcGIS Explorer
a free digital globe that runs on Windows PCs
ArcGIS Desktop
ArcGIS Desktop
the professional GIS for Windows PCs



Web Mapping

Exploring Weather Hazards in the USA

Use the National Atlas web-GIS to quickly map different hazard events by county, including lightning, fog, hail, tornadoes, wildfires, and more. How many of the hazards listed are weather-related? How many are influenced by climate change?

Exploring Weather Hazards in the USA
Map of lightning events by county in the USA from the National Atlas. Does the widespread prevalence of lightning surprise you?

Investigating Average Annual Precipitation in the USA
Map of average annual precipitation the National Atlas. How would you describe the pattern of precipitation, and what factors influence this pattern?
Investigating Average Annual Precipitation in the USA

Use the National Atlas web-GIS to analyze the range and pattern of precipitation across the USA.





AEJEE

Analyzing 150 Years of Hurricanes with GIS

Are hurricanes more common now than in the past? This lesson invites exploration of the past 150 years of North Atlantic hurricanes online using the National Atlas. It will also guide you through downloading the hurricane data and conducting deeper investigations using ArcExplorer'Java Edition for Education GIS software.

Analyzing 150 Years of Hurricanes with GIS
Analyzing 150 Years of hurricanes using ArcExplorer-Java Edition for Education GIS software.

Analyzing Current Hurricanes with GIS
The path of Hurricane Gustav as modeled in ArcExplorer-Java Edition for Education GIS software.
Analyzing Current Hurricanes with GIS

Use the easy-to-use but powerful ArcExplorer-Java Edition for Education GIS software together with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to investigate the latest hurricanes. The map created from this lesson shows Hurricane Gustav bearing down on the Louisiana coast; the lesson includes using data from August 2008 while considering population density by county.


Carbon Footprint

In this activity, students use GIS to explore the concept of carbon footprint and the its relationship to the population and size of different countries. It is part of the Environment series of activities. Both the AEJEE and ArcMap versions are included in the zip file below.

Carbon Footprint
Created and hosted by the James Madison University National Center for Rural Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education Outreach Program

Energy
Created and hosted by the James Madison University National Center for Rural Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education Outreach Program
Energy

In this activity, students use GIS to explore the production and consumption of energy by countries around the world. By comparing energy use of different types, students explore energy sustainability. Both the AEJEE and ArcMap versions are included in the zip file below.


Disasters

In this activity, students use GIS to explore the impact of natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. on their local area. They also explore which health care facilities are important in the case of disaster. Both the AEJEE and ArcMap versions are included in the zip file below.

Disasters
Created and hosted by the James Madison University National Center for Rural Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education Outreach Program




ArcGIS Explorer

Climate Change Investigations with GIS
Mapping sea level temperatures throughout the year using NASA NEO data in ArcGIS Explorer.
Using Sea Surface Temp to Explore Climate Change

Use sea surface temperature data from NASA Earth Observations (.kmz files) to explore monthly temperature and anomalies. The lesson provides basic guidance about process, rather than strict step-by-step instruction.




ArcGIS Desktop

Investigating Temperature Extremes in the USA

Have you ever read the high and low daily temperature extremes in the newspaper? In this activity, you will map and investigate temperature extremes in the USA for the month of January 2009. You will use GIS for your primary investigative tool and begin with 30 questions. What is the effect of ocean proximity, latitude, and altitude on daily extreme high and low temperatures?

Investigating Temperature Extremes in the USA
One month of high and low temperatures for the continental USA as mapped in this lesson, displayed on an elevation map.

Investigating Sea Level Rise and Much More Using Our World GIS Education
Part of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast of North America, showing the coastline in the event of a 50-meter sea level rise, as modeled in ArcGIS software.
Investigating Sea Level Rise and Much More Using Our World GIS Education

How do issues such as trade, energy, water resources, and climate change affect the Americas? Use powerful GIS software with spatial data and lessons from the Our World GIS Education series of four books from ESRI Press to find out. The image to the right, produced during one of these investigations, shows the part of the Caribbean and Atlantic coasts as they would appear in the event of a 50-meter sea level rise.


Water Use Analysis with GIS

Learn what the largest uses of water are in the USA, where they occur, and why they occur there, in this in-depth analysis that takes advantage of GIS and spatial analysis techniques. If you have never tried regression, hot spot, or scatterplot analysis before, here is an excellent opportunity to step into the world of spatial analysis on a relevant topic that is tied to climate.

Water Use Analysis with GIS
Water use maps, scatterplots, and graphs that you will use in this lesson on analyzing water use in the USA.

Selecting Wind Farm Sites in Colorado Using GIS
One of the maps that you will create in siting the best location for a wind farm in Colorado.
Selecting Wind Farm Sites in Colorado Using GIS

Determine the best locations to site a wind energy farm in Colorado in this 50-question activity. You will use GIS as your primary investigative tool and use spatial analysis techniques to consider the best site. You will consider highways, cities, elevation, wind speed, federal lands, and other data in your analysis.




Further Investigations Integrating GIS and Climate

      GIS For Climate Change [PDF]
    A selection of best practices by some of the top researchers and practitioners in climatology and GIScience including mapping the Ayles Ice Shelf break, assessing carbon and biomass in forests, conserving Bolivia's critical resources, NCAR climate models, and more.
      Climate Resources from ESRI
    Climate models, data models, software, and data sources, case studies, and more.
      Global Warming: Bering Glacier Retreat and Sea Level Rise
    Paper given at ESRI User Conference by Drs. Lyles, Stubblefield, and others.
      Northern Prairie Wetlands and Climate Change
    Study of spatial and temporal patterns across the Prairie Pothole Region of North America.