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MY NASA DATA: Coral Bleaching in the Caribbean DLESE Reviewed Collection
In this lesson, students collect sea surface temperature (SST) data from the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS), create time-series line plots, and use the plots to study a major coral bleaching event. Corals feed on algae that thrive in the sunlit water surrounding a reef. However, when water temperatures get too warm, the algae food source dies and corals turn a whitish color. Through scientific observation, it has been determined that coral bleaching may occur when SST exceeds 30C or 86F for a week or longer. During late 2005, a major coral bleaching event, selected for study in this lesson, occurred as a result of these conditions in the Caribbean Sea. The lesson provides detailed procedure, related links, sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
  • Atmospheric science
  • Climatology
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
  • Hydrology
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
  • Physics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
Cost information is not known
This product is free and clear for general use.
DLESE Catalog ID: NASA-ESERevProd677
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Lin H.