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Sunspot Activity and Ocean Temperature
In this activity students analyze and compare two graphs to determine if there is a correlation between solar activity and ocean temperature. They discover that by comparing the results from data that has been collected since the 1800's to the present, scientists have found a possible pattern. For example, there are many instances when the average ocean surface temperature and sunspot activity were at a high or low at about the same time. The source of the controversy is that there are also times in which a correlation is not seen in the data.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
Subject:
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
  • Space science
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
NASA images generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video and audio material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits and Internet Web pages. This general permission does not include the NASA insignia logo (the blue meatball insignia), the NASA logotype (the red worm logo) and the NASA seal. These images may not be used by persons who are not NASA employees or on products (including Web pages) that are not NASA sponsored.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-008-003
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • B - Physical science:
        • Transfer of energy
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • B - Physical science:
        • Interactions of energy and matter
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Ms Susan Higley
Cherry Hill Middle School

Editor: Dr Sten Odenwald
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Image for Magnetopause-to-Auroral Global Exploration