Saturday, November 14, 2009

Record High Temperatures Far Outpace Lows

Summary: This was article from posted on November 13, 2009, in Science Daily. Data for record daily temperatures across the U.S. were kept by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) from the 1950's until 2009. Despite a downward blip in the 1960's and 1970's the overall trend in that entire time span shows that the ratio of record high temperatures : record low temperatures is rising. In short, daily temperatures have been surpassing record highs more than record lows. "If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. " The trend has been more pronounced in the western U.S. Data was collected at 1.800 weather stations across the country.

Teaching Strategy: Each student could gather and record daily weather data for a state capital city for a month and compare any record temperatures with the average daily temperature. For the culminating activity students' data could then be combined by region of the U.S. The daily temperatures for the state capitols in each region could be averaged and displayed on one graph. The data could be collected and recorded on either a stacked bar graph as depicted in the article or on a combination bar / line grap to compare the averge high and lows and the daily range. Students could then use their graphs to interpret any trends for each region and to compare their findings with the overall findings in the article.

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