Dr. C’s Blog 12-17-09: visiting Mr. Roberts Class

December 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Surface Temperature Field Campaign

Yesterday, I went to Mr. Roberts 1st grade class at Ida Elementary School. I had a lot fun and I think the kids did too. I introduced infrared thermometers to the students and talked to them about temperature. We did everything in Fahrenheit. I didn’t feel that I had enough time to introduce Celsius. We talked about the freezing point and boiling points of water as well as body temperature and typical high temperatures in the summer. The kids wanted to know what the lowest temperature was. I had heard that it was really cold in Alberta, Canada on Monday, 14, 2009, with a low of -50 C (-58 F). They also wanted to know what the hottest place on Earth is. I showed them the Sahara desert on the globe. I talked about the seasons to follow up with a visit to the class in October when I talked about green down and the students identified the color of leaves for GLOBE. I took the globe around the room and had the students pretend they were the sun. I showed the students how the Earth goes around the Sun and how the tilt of the Earth leads to the changes of the seasons. One student even knew that the first day of winter is December 21. I explained to them that the meteorological winter actually started December 1.

We went outside at about 10 am. Just as we were getting ready to go out, the principal came on over the loudspeaker and said that due to the low wind chill, 5 F (-15 C), that the students would not be allowed to go out for recess. I heard a lot of moans and groans from around the school. The kids love to go out to play. Mr. Roberts decided that we should go out anyway because we were conducting a scientific experiment. The kids and the four adults that went out got bundled up with coats, hats and gloves or mittens. We went out and it was a bit cold but everyone survived. The mood of the students seemed high. We broke into three groups, two measured the temperature of the grass and one group measured the temperature of the basketball court (asphalt). I modified the data entry form so it would be easier for the first grade students to write down the observations.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Aerial photograph of Ida Elementary School from Google Earth. The two grass and basketball court study sites are highlighted.

After we took the observations, we came back into the classroom. Each student copied down the observations from the master sheet and then we compared them. There was no snow on the ground so that was easy.

Grass Group 1: Mr. Roberts Group -6.2 C
Grass Group 2: Mrs. Shorings Group -1.0 C
Asphalt Group: Daddy’s Group -1.0 C

As you can see from the observations above, the basketball court with the asphalt cover had the same temperature as one of the grass sites and both were warmer than the other grass site. This is an interesting outcome, and not completely expected outcome. I would have expected the two grass sites to have similar temperatures and the asphalt basketball court to be warmer than both. I explained to the students that that is science. Things don’t always turn out the way you expect. That makes things interesting. So the question is, why was the one grass site and the asphalt, basketball court, similar and both different than the other grass site? hmmm

The last thing we did was to take some thermal images of the class with a thermal imager. Below is a thermal image of Mr. Roberts and myself. Can you tell who is who?

Figure 2
Figure 2. Thermal image of Mr. Roberts and me (Dr. C).

The field campaign is going well. There have been 995 observations from 36 schools. If you have not gotten your observations in yet, please do soon so I can check them over. I entered observations for Mr. Roberts class. When we took the observations, we took them in degrees Fahrenheit. Well, I forgot to convert them to Celsius. Silly me. I managed to use backspace on the GLOBE website and changed the observations.

As for snow cover, it has really increased. Not much has changed in the United States and North America (Figure 3). Some snow has melted in the western states. Europe received a pretty good snow storm earlier this week. You can see that Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Estonia and many other countries had snow cover. It looks like there will be a snow storm in West Virginia this Saturday. Too bad it is on the weekend.

cursnow_usa 2
Figure 3. Snow cover map for North America, December 16, 2009.

cursnow_asiaeurope 2
Figure 4. Snow cover for Europe and Asia for December 15, 2009.

If you want to keep taking observations after the field campaign is over, please do. All data is welcomed. Dr. C

The schools that have participated so far this year are:
Roswell Kent Middle School, Akron, OH, US [20 rows]
Woodward High School, Toledo, OH, US
Chartiers-Houston Jr./Sr. High School, Houston, PA, US [10 rows]
Cloverleaf High School, Lodi, OH, US [69 rows]
The Morton Arboretum Youth Education Dept., Lisle, IL, US
Peebles High School, Peebles, OH, US [59 rows]
United Elementary School, Armagh, PA, US [5 rows]
Gimnazjum No 7 Jana III Sobieskiego, Rzeszow, PL [7 rows]
Burlington County Institute Of Technology, Medford, NJ, US [4 rows]
Brazil High, Brazil Village, TT [27 rows]
Kilingi-Nomme Gymnasium, Parnumaa, EE [10 rows]
Montague Elementary School, Montague, NJ, US [8 rows]
National Presbyterian School, Washington, DC, US [2 rows]
West Union Elementary School, West Union, OH, US [34 rows]
Huntington High School, Huntington, WV, US [389 rows]
Lima High School, Lima, OH, US [3 rows]
United High School, Armagh, PA, US [12 rows]
Hermitage House Youth Services, Edinboro, PA, US [8 rows]
Lakewood Catholic Academy, Lakewood, OH, US [34 rows]
Bellefontaine High School, Bellefontaine, OH, US [20 rows]
Our Lady Of Lourdes School, Toledo, OH, US [12 rows]
Elkview Middle School, Elkview, WV, US [13 rows]
Ida Middle School, Ida, MI, US [8 rows]
McTigue Middle School, Toledo, OH, US [7 rows]
Taaksi Basic School, EE2914 Viljandimaa, EE [15 rows]
South Suburban Montessori School, Brecksville, OH, US
Ft. Hays State University, Hays, KS, US [28 rows]
John Marshall High School, Glendale, WV, US [17 rows]
Birchwood School, Cleveland, OH, US [21 rows]
Gimnazium in Toszek, Toszek, PL [29 rows]
Iowa Academy Of Science Ed. Programs, Cedar Falls, IA, US [13 rows]
Eastwood Middle School, Pemberville, OH, US [4 rows]
The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, US [17 rows]
Indian Lake High School, North Lewistown, OH, US [17 rows]
Main Street School, Norwalk, OH, US [43 rows]
Monroe High School, Monroe, MI, US [43 rows]

Dr. C’s Blog 12-13-09: from Denver airport

December 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Surface Temperature Field Campaign

I am writing this from the Denver airport. I have a four hour layover. Luckily, the airport has free internet and I can get some work done. I am on my way to the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco, California. It is one of the largest science meetings in the world. I wonder if it will have less scientists there this year because of the climate conference in Copenhagen? This is going to be a quick trip for me. I will come home on Tuesday. I will be presenting at 9:45 am Pacific Time 1745 Universal Time tomorrow on a Earth System Science course that I teach at the University of Toledo.

100_2115 5
Figure 1. Picture of me at Denver Airport, December 13, 2009.

There have now been 739 observations from 30 schools entered into the GLOBE website for this field campaign. That is amazing for this point in it. Thank you everyone for your hard work. Mr. Sharpe’s students from Huntington High School in Huntington, West Virginia are creating quite a data set with 383 observations entered to date. I hear that the students call you “The Sharpe”.

Hi Mr. Lopatka, Morton Arboretum Youth Education, nice to have you participating. Good luck with your next hockey game. I play this Thursday.

The data set is looking pretty cool (and cold for that matter). I will try to do some analysis of the data this week to let you know how this look.

I see the much of southeastern Europe got snow yesterday. A number of schools have seen snow.

The schools that have participated so far this year are:
Roswell Kent Middle School, Akron, OH, US [20 rows]
Woodward High School, Toledo, OH, US
Chartiers-Houston Jr./Sr. High School, Houston, PA, US [8 rows]
Cloverleaf High School, Lodi, OH, US [69 rows]
The Morton Arboretum Youth Education Dept., Lisle, IL, US
Peebles High School, Peebles, OH, US [45 rows]
United Elementary School, Armagh, PA, US [5 rows]
Burlington County Institute Of Technology, Medford, NJ, US [4 rows]
Brazil High, Brazil Village, TT [21 rows]
Kilingi-Nomme Gymnasium, Parnumaa, EE [6 rows]
Montague Elementary School, Montague, NJ, US [6 rows]
National Presbyterian School, Washington, DC, US [2 rows]
West Union Elementary School, West Union, OH, US [22 rows]
Huntington High School, Huntington, WV, US [383 rows]
United High School, Armagh, PA, US [12 rows]
Hermitage House Youth Services, Edinboro, PA, US [6 rows]
Lakewood Catholic Academy, Lakewood, OH, US [28 rows]
Bellefontaine High School, Bellefontaine, OH, US [20 rows]
Our Lady Of Lourdes School, Toledo, OH, US [7 rows]
Ida Middle School, Ida, MI, US [6 rows]
Taaksi Basic School, EE2914 Viljandimaa, EE [9 rows]
Ft. Hays State University, Hays, KS, US [20 rows]
John Marshall High School, Glendale, WV, US [4 rows]
Gimnazium in Toszek, Toszek, PL [8 rows]
Iowa Academy Of Science Ed. Programs, Cedar Falls, IA, US [5 rows]
Eastwood Middle School, Pemberville, OH, US [4 rows]
The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, US [11 rows]
Indian Lake High School, North Lewistown, OH, US [13 rows]
Main Street School, Norwalk, OH, US [19 rows]
Monroe High School, Monroe, MI, US [34 rows]

Climate Conference, post your comments

December 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Related Topics

Sheila Yule from GLOBE sent me this request.

Hello Teachers,
The GLOBE Alumni would like your students to join in the discussion
about the Climate Conference in Copenhagen. We would like to know how
the media in your area is covering the Climate Conference…and what
your students are thinking. This is a real time event that can get your
students thinking about the GLOBE Student Research Campaign on Climate.
If you have problems please contact Matt Fenzel mattfenzel@gmail.com.
Thanks for participating. Sheila Yule

Please post what you have seen in the news about the Climate Conference.

Dr. C’s Blog 12-8-09: Big storm in US

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Surface Temperature Field Campaign

We started the second week of the GLOBE Surface Temperature Field Campaign. The first week started out strong. Most of the observations were taken correctly, thank you everyone!

The weather this week is and will continue to be very interesting. You will note in Figure 1 below how the snow cover has increased dramatically from last week in North America. You can see that much more area of Canada and the United States is now covered by snow. There is the snow cover along the eastern coast of the United States from the recent snowstorm there including Washington, DC, New York City and Boston. The forecast last week that the weather would get colder was a good forecast, wouldn’t you say?

Figure 1-
Figure 1. Snow cover in North America for November 30, 2009 and December 7, 2009.

Only a few schools have reported snow so far for the field campaign. Fort Hays State University in Kansas (thanks Dr. Adams) has some on the ground as does the Iowa Academy of Science in Cedar Falls, Iowa (thanks Ms. Seavey). Ms. Seavey measured 63 mm of snow.

The depth of snow in all of these locations should increase today with the significant winter storm that is moving through the center of the U.S. The major winter storm that is in the Rockies this morning will move out into the plains this afternoon (Figure 2). It is already spreading snow all the way to Michigan as I write this. This storm is a big one and it is going to make travel difficult in much of the U.S. On the surface map for Figure 2, you can see the low pressure center in western Colorado. There is a cold front extending to the southwest through Baja, Mexico. A stationary front extends to another low in Texas. Given the location of the storm, it is pulling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Rain is visible in the map from Mississippi up into southern Illinois. The high pressure systems, denoted by “H”, in southern Canada is making it very cold there in addition to Montana and North Dakota. I will discuss this more below. Lastly, the eastern U.S. has a high pressure dominating it as well.

Figure 2
Figure 2. Surface weather map for Tuesday, December 8, 2009 from the Weather Underground (wunderground.com).

Figure 3
Figure 3. Warnings and watches for Tuesday morning, December 8, 2009.

This system is causing a lot of warnings and watches across the United States (Figure 3). There are blizzard warnings in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Minnesota and Iowa. There are winter storm warnings across a large area of the center of the country.

After the storm goes by, very cold air will move in. This morning, the low temperatures in Montana were -37 C (-33 F) YIKES! For Ohio and Michigan, we can expect temperatures of -3 C (26 F) for highs for Friday, Saturday and Sunday with lows of -9 C (15 F). The average highs for this time of year in Toledo are 3 C (38 F) with average lows of -3 C (26 F). How cold it gets at night will depend on the amount of snow, if any, that we get. Michigan should get a good dousing of snow from this system. Light snow is actually moving into western Michigan on Tuesday morning as I write this. Precipitation may start out as snow on Tuesday in Ohio but then most of Ohio will have a rain/snow mix Tuesday night turning to all rain. Then it will get cold enough to snow on Wednesday, but the precipitation may move out before it gets cold enough to snow. That is life.

And to note, Peebles High School has the most observations entered so far with 25. Go Indians! (Indians is the team name for Peebles High School). Keep up the good work everyone.

The schools that have participated so far this year are:
Roswell Kent Middle School, Akron, OH, US [12 rows]
Chartiers-Houston Jr./Sr. High School, Houston, PA, US
Peebles High School, Peebles, OH, US [25 rows]
United Elementary School, Armagh, PA, US [4 rows]
Burlington County Institute Of Technology, Medford, NJ, US [4 rows]
Brazil High, Brazil Village, TT [12 rows]
Montague Elementary School, Montague, NJ, US [6 rows]
National Presbyterian School, Washington, DC, US [2 rows]
Kilingi-Nomme Gymnasium, Parnumaa, EE [2 rows]
West Union Elementary School, West Union, OH, US [16 rows]
United High School, Armagh, PA, US [4 rows]
Hermitage House Youth Services, Edinboro, PA, US [3 rows]
Lakewood Catholic Academy, Lakewood, OH, US [16 rows]
Bellefontaine High School, Bellefontaine, OH, US [12 rows]
Our Lady Of Lourdes School, Toledo, OH, US [7 rows]
Taaksi Basic School, EE2914 Viljandimaa, EE [4 rows]
Ft. Hays State University, Hays, KS, US [14 rows]
Iowa Academy Of Science Ed. Programs, Cedar Falls, IA, US [5 rows]
Gimnazium in Toszek, Toszek, PL [4 rows]
Eastwood Middle School, Pemberville, OH, US [4 rows]
The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, US [8 rows]
Indian Lake High School, North Lewistown, OH, US [8 rows]
Main Street School, Norwalk, OH, US [3 rows]
Monroe High School, Monroe, MI, US [10 rows]

Recorded Webinar associated with the Surface Temperature Field Campaign

Click on the link below to see a webinar that I did with teachers in Iowa. I apologize for all of the fumbles. Dr. C

http://univnia.na4.acrobat.com/p69084101/

Urban Heat Island Blog 12-6-09

December 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Surface Temperature Field Campaign

I recently had a question from a teacher, “Why do we take surface temperature observations?” Why are we doing this surface temperature field campaign in the first place? In this blog, I wanted to go a little bit more in depth about surface temperature. It’s important to know the “why” behind the observations when you are taking them.

The land surface temperature is affected by the material that the surface is made from. As cities grow and more and more pavement and buildings are built, the temperature of those cities goes up. Roads, parking lots, sidewalks and builds tend to be warmer than vegetation such as grass, trees and bushes. Warmer cities negatively affect people’s health during heat waves and drive up energy demand in the summer to cool buildings through air conditioning. And, we do not know how much our cities have contributed to warming the Earth. This is called the urban heat island effect.

For thermal infrared remote sensing, the emission of electromagnectic radiation from the Earth is used to find the surface temperature of the Earth. Every object emits electromagnetic energy according to its temperature. Described scientifically, surface temperature is the radiating temperature of the ground surface including grass, bare soil, roads, sidewalks, buildings, and trees to name a few. Hot objects emit shorter wavelength energy, while cooler objects emit longer wavelength energy. Thermal remote sensing can be used to observe the temperature of the Earth. Its uses include detecting El Nino in the ocean, monitoring the use of water and energy by plants as well as determining the impact of land use change on the surface temperature.

Surface temperature is at the heart of the energy budget. Energy from the sun comes through the atmosphere and can be converted into a couple forms of energy when it is intercepted by the ground. Some of the energy will go into evaporating water from the surface or go into transpiring water from plants. If the surface is wet, the temperature tends to be cooler because the energy is not used to heat the ground. Through conduction and convection, the ground heats the air above it. Some of the energy goes into heating the layers of ground under the surface. Lastly, some of the energy is emitted towards the atmosphere as long wave electromagnetic energy as described above. Some of this energy goes through the atmosphere to space acting to cool the Earth.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Kindergarten student taking surface temperature measurements using an IRT. This IRT was left outside for an hour to equilibrate with the temperature outside.

In 2007 and 2008, students from over 70 schools from around the world participated in GLOBE’s surface temperature field campaign. Figure 2 shows an aerial photograph of Hoover Middle School in Waterloo, Iowa overlaid with the thermal band from Landsat 7 for April 4, 2005. Students took observations in the bus circle, on the football field and in a grassy area (prairie). The temperatures observed by the students were labeled as GLOBE. The surface temperature observed by the satellite is shown as L7. Note that the satellite temperature is about 7 degrees Celsius lower than the observations the students took. The reason for this is that the satellite is observing the surface as well as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, etc.). The atmosphere is cooler than the land surface for this case.

Figure 2
Figure 2. Landsat 7 themal band from April 4, 2005 overlaid on an aerial photograph of Hoover Middle School in Waterloo, Iowa. Students took surface temperature observations using and infrared thermometer.

One of the reasons that we have been conducting the surface temperature field campaign over the last many years has been to see what influence the urban areas may be having on the climate. Are the urban areas warming the Earth up? This is an important question in regards to climate change. The temperature of the Earth has risen about 1 C in the last 100 and the IPCC 2007 stated that much of that warming was from the increase in greenhouse gases. We want to know how much the urban heat island effect is warming the Earth.

To perform the study, I extracted the surface temperature data from the field campaigns in 2007 and 2008 from the GLOBE website http://www.globe.gov. You can extract the data as a shapefile that can be readily put into a geographic information system (GIS). I used My World GIS which was developed at Northwestern University and is distributed by Pasco. Figure 3 shows a plot I made using surface temperature data from last year’s GLOBE surface temperature field campaign. The small squares are the schools that took observations on December 3, 2008. I chose the Ohio/Michigan/West Virginia area because that is where most of the schools participating in the field campaign are located. I put a buffer around cities of 50,000 people or more and made those yellow. As you can see, some of the student observations were from within the city buffer which I then labeled urban and some were outside the buffer which I labeled rural. I then separated the data by cover type and looked at grass versus asphalt cover. Then, I separated those by urban and rural so that the temperature of the grass between the urban and rural and the temperature of the asphalt between urban and rural could be compared.

Figure 3
Figure 3. Surface temperature observations as colored squares from December 3, 2008 plotted using My World GIS with buffered cities highlighted in yellow.

Results showed that urban schools had warmer surface temperature observations on average 2.37 C and than rural schools 0.59 C in 2007 and 2008 (Table 1). For grass, the urban schools had higher surface temperature than the rural schools. For Asphalt, the urban schools were warmer than the rural schools for 2008 but for 2007 the rural schools were warmer. I was surprised in fact that we were able to detect the urban heat island effect in the surface temperature observations.

Table 1 2
Table 1. Comparison of surface temperature data

More work needs to be done for this. I did not separate out cases when there is snow on the ground. I did not check the distribution of the urban and rural schools to see if one group is spread more to the north or south than the other. And finally, I did not separate out sunny or cloudy days.

The schools that have participated so far this year are:
Roswell Kent Middle School, Akron, OH, US [12 rows]
Chartiers-Houston Jr./Sr. High School, Houston, PA, US
Peebles High School, Peebles, OH, US [21 rows]
United Elementary School, Armagh, PA, US [3 rows]
Burlington County Institute Of Technology, Medford, NJ, US [3 rows]
Brazil High, Brazil Village, TT [12 rows]
National Presbyterian School, Washington, DC, US [2 rows]
Kilingi-Nomme Gymnasium, Parnumaa, EE [2 rows]
West Union Elementary School, West Union, OH, US [14 rows]
United High School, Armagh, PA, US [4 rows]
Hermitage House Youth Services, Edinboro, PA, US [2 rows]
Lakewood Catholic Academy, Lakewood, OH, US [12 rows]
Bellefontaine High School, Bellefontaine, OH, US [10 rows]
Our Lady Of Lourdes School, Toledo, OH, US [4 rows]
Taaksi Basic School, EE2914 Viljandimaa, EE [2 rows]
Ft. Hays State University, Hays, KS, US [2 rows]
Gimnazium in Toszek, Toszek, PL [4 rows]
Eastwood Middle School, Pemberville, OH, US [4 rows]
The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, US [8 rows]
Indian Lake High School, North Lewistown, OH, US [6 rows]
Main Street School, Norwalk, OH, US [3 rows]
Monroe High School, Monroe, MI, US [6 rows]

Dr. C

SATELLITES Conference 2009

December 3, 2009 by  
Filed under SATELLITES Conference 2009

OhioView SATELLITES Geospatial Technology Conference
K-12 and university students presented their research projects based on geospatial technology
Presented by
OhioView & Penta Career Center, Perrysburg, OH 43551

April 22, 2009 9:00am – 1:00pm

K-12 and university students from Ohio will present their research results from work they performed throughout the school year. The National Science Education Standards state that students learn the concepts and facts of science, obtain reasoning and procedural skills of scientists, and understand that the nature of science is a particular form of human endeavor (National Research Council, 2000). SATELLITES is structured so that the students learn how to conduct their own inquiry-based research project using geospatial technologies. The student’s inquiry-based projects utilize their knowledge and allowed them to become actively involved in solving a question they proposed using the data they collected as well as data from other data bases. This allowed them to mirror the reasoning and procedural skills that scientists follow when they conduct their research. In order to emulate the way scientists present their research for review, students present their findings at the SATELLITES conference. Being able to present findings is a way for students to show they truly understand the way scientists work and to appreciate their own work as “scientists”. This year’s SATELLITES conference is set for April 22, 2009 at the Penta Career Center.
This year’s themes were the International Polar Year and water quality. Most of the projects will center around either the International Polar Year (IPY) and water quality. Both research question are quite timely. IPY has occurred when Arctic sea ice has melted back to historically low values. Also, water quality in Lake Erie has started to decline after years of improvement. The projects build on field work that the students conducted in the fall associated with the GLOBE program.
This year’s conference will feature a keynote address by Dr. Mandy Munro-Stasiuk from Kent State University. She will present her research results from her work in Iceland. Also, students from Roswell Kent Middle School in Akron, Ohio will perform their presentation that they presented in South Africa at the GLOBE student conference.

Schools involved include:
Bellefontaine High School
Blessed Sacrament School
Birchwood School
Bowling Green Christian Academy
Bowsher High School
Gateway Middle School, Maumee
Litchfield Middle School
Maumee High School
Penta Career Center
Polly Fox Academy
Roswell Kent Middle School
St. Joseph School, Sylvania
The Bryan Center
Bowling Green State University
Kent State University
University of Toledo
University of Akron
Wright State University

NASA RELEASES CLIMATE CHANGE MULTIMEDIA RESOURCE REEL

December 3, 2009 by  
Filed under NASA

WASHINGTON — In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, NASA has released a new multimedia climate change “resource reel” showcasing free downloadable videos, data visualizations, animations, and still images that illustrate key climate change concepts and discoveries.

NASA created the reel to provide journalists, educators, and the general public with copyright-free media content in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which begins December 7. Featured on the page is a quick-access list of the ten most popular climate change visualizations and imagery. The reel is divided into key topics such as ocean, atmosphere, and the sun. It also contains a search function that offers access to NASA’s larger multimedia archive.
 
The climate change gallery is available on-line through NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/ClimateEssentials/ Media can be downloaded in a variety of high-definition and web-friendly formats directly from the site.
 
The multimedia gallery is also available on NASA’s Global Climate Change web site:
http://climate.nasa.gov/ClimateReel/


For more information about NASA, visit:
 

www.nasa.gov

Dr. C’s Surface Temperature Blog 12-2-09

Thus far in the field campaign we have had 61 observations from 15 schools. That is great. I like to highlight the schools that have recorded the most observations. I guess it is the competitive nature in me. Peebles High School in Peebles, Ohio and Roswell-Kent Middle School in Akron, Ohio are tied for the lead with nine observations each.

I have continued to look over the data for possible errors. I have noted a couple of times students have entered the local time instead of universal time. This is a common mistake. If this happens to you, you should enter the correct observations on the GLOBE website and then you can ask GLOBE through globe help to erase the incorrect observation. help@globe.gov [help@globe.gov]

I was looking over the data and thought that a school had entered their observations in degrees Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. This is a common mistake as well. There were temperatures of 32.5 and 42.5. But, then I looked at the name of the school. It was Brazil High School from Brazil Village, Trinidad and Tobago. Thank you Mr. Ali for your continued participation. So, that was 42.5 degrees Celsius. That is warm. Trinidad and Tobago is near the equator just north of Venezuela (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Map showing the location of Trinidad and Tobago. Source: http://www.rei.com/graphics/adventures/trips/bigmaps/latin_2.jpg

As I mentioned on Monday, we are starting off this field campaign with fairly sparse snow cover in the United States (Figure 2). But, that is going to change. Over the next week, a cold weather system is going to set up over the United States and should bring snow to many locations. Ironically, this system brought snow to Texas. Dallas, Texas has had more snow this season already than Toledo, Ohio. That is odd.

Figure 2. Snow cover and depth for the United States, December 2, 2009.

In November, when it was mild across much of the United States, the jet stream was flat. This is called zonal flow (Figure 3). The jet stream was also split which is a signature of El Nino. The cold air was bottled up in Canada and there was rain across the southern US associated with the southern jet stream.

Figure 3. Map of jet stream for November 2009 showing strong southern jet associated with El Nino.

This next week, the pattern is changing, at least for one week. The cold air in Canada is going to come down into the United States (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Map of jet stream forecast for the first week of December showing the jet stream bringing cold air out of Canada into the United States.

Something to note on the long term forecast is that very cold air from Siberia is forecast to make its way over the North Pole and settle in northern Canada. It will be interesting to see if this happens.

The schools that have participated so far this year are:
Roswell Kent Middle School, Akron, OH, US [9 rows]
Peebles High School, Peebles, OH, US [9 rows]
United Elementary School, Armagh, PA, US [2 rows]
Brazil High, Brazil Village, TT [3 rows]
Kilingi-Nomme Gymnasium, Parnumaa, EE [2 rows]
West Union Elementary School, West Union, OH, US [2 rows]
United High School, Armagh, PA, US [4 rows]
Lakewood Catholic Academy, Lakewood, OH, US [6 rows]
Bellefontaine High School, Bellefontaine, OH, US [6 rows]
Ft. Hays State University, Hays, KS, US [2 rows]
Gimnazium in Toszek, Toszek, PL [4 rows]
The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, US [4 rows]
Indian Lake High School, North Lewistown, OH, US [3 rows]
Main Street School, Norwalk, OH, US [3 rows]
Monroe High School, Monroe, MI, US [2 rows]

It is nice to see observations from Mr. Russell’s students at Monroe High School in Monroe, Michigan and Mr. and Mrs. Whitcombs students at United Elementary and High Schools in Armgh, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the field campaign.

Teacher Workshop AGU San Francisco Dec. 17-18, 2009

December 2, 2009 by  
Filed under NASA

Since 1991, the American Geophysical Union has offered GIFT (Geophysical Information for Teachers) Workshops. These professional development opportunities allow science teachers to learn about the latest research in Earth and space science from prominent scientists engaged in making the most recent discoveries and to actively engage in classroom activities that tie to this cutting-edge research.

 

The 2009 GIFT Workshop will take place on Dec. 17-18, 2009, at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. This workshop is intended for middle and high school science educators and will focus on “Earth’s Surface: Where Biology and Geology Interact.” The workshop will feature several prominent NASA scientists discussing their current research and explorations. Topics will include a broad view of water, water on Mars, water on the moon, and mapping impervious cover on Earth that impacts the water cycle. The entire first day will consist of NASA presentations.

 

Participants will learn how to use hands-on, inquiry-based activities that demonstrate data concepts as examples for teaching the science standards. Attendees will leave with curricular materials and resources for their classroom.

 

The workshop is free for teachers, but space is limited to 65 participants. It will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Complimentary breakfast and lunch are included both days.

 

Participating teachers will also be provided with a coupon redeemable in the exhibit hall for a Galileoscope and a bag of NASA Earth and space science educational materials. Also included is a complimentary meeting registration to attend the technical presentations and exhibit hall during AGU.

 

This workshop is co-sponsored by AGU, NASA and Critical Zone Observatory.

 

For more information about the workshop and to register online, visit http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/outreach/index.php. (Registration will remain open until available slots are filled.)

 

Questions about this workshop should be directed to fm-help@agu.org.