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Step-by-Step

In this Section

Organized by use of each major tool.  See Student Summary Worksheet and general procedure (above) to piece these activities together. Note – the boundaries between the different activities are somewhat fuzzy. The order of some steps can be rearranged.

Part 1: Personal Choice game sheet

Part 2: Ecological footprint calculator

Part 3: Acquire historical temperature data

Part 4: Define scenarios and review model results

Part 5: Enter information into Google Earth file

Part 1: Personal Choice game sheet

Select Your Location

Choose Your You

Your Ecological Footprint

  1. Have students access the student worksheet.  The game sheet is included at the end of this document.
  2. Distribute game sheets to all students and a packet of game cards (cut apart) OR – access and complete these files electronically.
  3. Students make one (or more than one in case of entertainment or vacation if they chose more) selection for themselves and their role play character in each category.  Choices are documented (typed in electronically or cards pasted into boxes) to complete the game sheet.
  4. In part 1 – this information is used to provide a general feel for the life and culture of the character and student.
  5. In part 4 – the game sheet score card is used to assign points for each personal choice.

Required files:

Scoring sheet to define SRES scenario from personal choices and characteristics

Part 2: Ecological footprint calculator

  1. Open Ecological footprint calculator.
  2. Select a country or the nearest location (see choices on map to right)
  3. Select gender and characteristics of your avatar.
  4. Answer questions as prompted.  For each set of characteristics, you can answer the general choice questions (top) or more detailed bottom questions.
  5. Review the results (# earths to live and CO2 emissions) and enter into student summary worksheet.
  6. Use the “edit your footprint” and explore scenarios” buttons to evaluate how you can reduce your impact on the plant. Note the changes in how many earths you can cut from your impact by changing your behaviors.
  7. Repeat above for your role play character.

Part 3: Acquire historical temperature data

World Map

  1. Open the NASA GISS Surface Temperature database
  2. Scroll down to see map. Click on the map in the region your role play character lives to see what nearby temperature stations are available.  Choose one based on its proximity to where you expect your character to live and the availability of many years of temperature data. Record the name of station and its longitudinal and latitude coordinates on your summary worksheet. 
  3. Click on the name of the station to view the graph of the annual average temperature for each year of the recorded history.  Place mouse over the graph and click the right mouse button. Select “copy.”  Paste the graph into the box on your student summary worksheet and complete the questions in the text boxes.
  4. Click on map near your home town to select a temperature measuring station near your home. Record the name of station and its longitudinal and latitude coordinates. Repeat step 3 for this station.
  5. For more advanced analysis or higher quality graphics, explore options for accessing the data directly or downloading graphics in postscript format. See detailed instructions in the tutorial for this web tool.

GISS Surface Temperature Analysis Station List Search

GISS Surface Temperature Analysis - Canton, NY

Part 4: Define scenarios and review model results

The information from the Personal Choice game sheet is used to quantify an emissions score for the student and their role play character.  The total score is used to define the future emission scenario and the predicted changes in temperature.

  1. Open game sheet used in part one of these instructions.
  2. Review the Personal Choice point sheet and add points to your game sheets for your own personal choices and those you assumed appropriate for your role play character.  Sum the values for your score (note, you can select multiple items for vacation and entertainment, include scores for each of your selections.) Record total scores in your student summary worksheet.
  3. Compare your final scores to the SRES Scenarios Summary sheet to identify if the SRES scenario and your future emissions are low, medium or high (record in student summary worksheet).
  4. Estimate the future temperature anomalies.
    1. Middle school students: Maps showing temperature anomalies in the late 21st century have been prepared for you.  Review the maps for the emission scenarios for yourself and your role play character.  Use the color coded scale to estimate the approximate increase in temperature (relative to 1961-1990 average) for both your home and your character’s home.  Record these estimated changes into your student summary worksheet and complete the questions.
    2. High school students:
      1. Open the IPCC DDC GCM database.
      2.  Refer to the tutorial file for specific step-by-step instructions for using this database.
      3. Select a data set for the scenario pertinent for yourself and zoom in on maps to assess the resulting temperature changes for your home location and your character’s home for January and July for the ~2080-2099 time frame. Use the “make a figure” option to create and save the temperature anomaly map for each location. Record the estimated temperature anomalies on your student summary worksheet.
      4. Repeat 3. for the scenario resulting from your character’s life.
  5. Complete the discussion questions on the student summary worksheet.

Part 5: Enter information into Google Earth file

Google Earth provides a suitable way to organize and present information that has geographic significance.  The details for opening and using Google Earth are available in a tutorial. 

  1. Open the Google Earth file (see example – clarksonuniversity.kmz) (which will zoom in to northern New York region.
  2. Use the “+” and “-“ bar on the upper right to zoom out (move bar towards the “-“) to see an expanded view of the New York, the United States or a continent.
  3. Use the hand tool to move the image to find the general area that you want to explore (e.g., your home town) and get the region of interest into the middle of the image.
  4. Zoom in to find the specific location (your home) for your pushpin.
  5. Follow directions included in this tutorial to create a pushpin for both yourself and your role play character.
  6. Name your pushpin (you name or your character’s name) and describe the region and the expected changes that might occur in this region, and how the culture or geography might change with climate change.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 for your role play character.
  8. Copy and paste your descriptions into your Student Summary Worksheet.