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Exploring the Cryosphere Using Sea Ice Data (title provided or enhanced by cataloger)
This guide provides instructions for educators on how to use sea ice data in the classroom. The data, from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), describe sea ice concentration and extent of coverage. Scientists use it to monitor changes in the concentration and coverage of ice in polar regions and to compare changes over time, such as loss of extent. Topics include temporal trends in sea ice coverage and concentration; the importance of sea ice in arctic ecosystems; the impact of sea ice formation and melting on ocean circulation; the impact of global climate change on sea ice coverage; and the thermodynamics of sea ice formation and melting. Student skills include understanding and practicing statistical tests; understanding how satellites collect data on polar ice, understanding spectral properties of various materials; and understanding how the data are processed to obtain sea ice extent and coverage. A link is provided to an FTP site for downloading the data. Other links access scientific references and educational resources that use this dataset, as well as other websites on polar science.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Computer activity
    • Guide for instructor
  • Cryology
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Environmental science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
We encourage the reuse and dissemination of the material on this site for educational, noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is retained. To this end the material on this site is offered under a Creative Commons license. Authors of original works submitted to SERC retain their copyright. But in volunteering the works they agree to offer it under this license allowing for reuse and redistribuition with attribuition. Authors are responsible for obtaining copywrite permission for all materials that they distribute within their work.
DLESE Catalog ID: DATA-CLASS-000-000-000-007
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Carleton College
Science Education Resource Center (SERC)