Background Image

Tools and Data

In this Section

Tool - Google Earth

Google Earth lets you fly anywhere to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, galaxies in outer space, and the depths of the ocean. Students can add “[pushpins” with information to document their findings for different locations. Google Earth desktop is available free of charge http://www.google.com/earth/explore/products/desktop.html

Tool – Ecological Footprint Calculator

The Ecological Footprint calculator was created by the Earth Day Network. The mission of this non-profit organization is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, driving action year-round through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns (http://www.earthday.org/). Ecological Footprint estimates how much of the biological capacity of the planet is demanded by a given human activity or population. It measures the amount of biologically productive land and water area an individual, a city, a country, a region, or all of humanity uses to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it generates Biologically productive land includes areas such as cropland, forest, and fishing grounds, and excludes deserts, glaciers, and the open ocean.

The Ecological Footprint Calculator can be accessed via the internet, free of charge. (http://files.earthday.net/footprint/flash.html ).

Dataset - NASA GISS Surface Temperature Data

The NASA Goddard Institute of Space Science has compiled and organized temperature data from weather stations around the world.  These data are easily organized through a graphical user interface that makes finding and viewing data (annual average temperature vs. year) for extended periods of time.  Some data sets extend from the 1880s through the present. The temperature histories can be viewed directly as a graph or the data can be downloaded as a text file.

Access to this dataset is available freely through NASA GISS - http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

Dataset – IPCC DDC

The IPCC’s data distribution centre provides access to a wide array of climate data sets, including the results of global circulation model results.  Free access to this database enables researchers, educators and students to review the results of IPCC GCM results through an intuitive and easy to use graphical user interface.  The user has a wide range of selections to make, including the model input (which model, which scenario) and model output (climatology or anomaly, 20 or 30 year averages, specific location, and climate indicator (temperature, precipitation etc.). (http://www.ipcc-data.org/maps/ )