The authors of “Applying Quantitative Reasoning to Understand Climate Science”, Corrine Taylor and Stephen Getty, provide an impressive list of the range of variables and units that students typically need to be able engage in understanding climate data. I found the list compelling as a set of learning objectives in a math curriculum (highlights mine):
- Temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, surface, or the oceans at specific depths, measured in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius;
- Carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million;
- Volume of ice sheets measured in cubic kilometers or cubic miles. Alternatively, the extent or surface area of ice (in square kilometers or square miles);
- Rates of change, such as precipitation (e.g., rain, sleet, snow) measured in inches per day or year, or sea level in millimeters per year, etc.;
- Acidity of the surface ocean waters, measured on the pH scale (a logarithmic scale); and
- Isotopic ratio of elements such as carbon or oxygen, expressed as per mil, relative to the ratio in the standard.
But, as importantly, math and science classes, provide an opportunity to simply present data without moral or ethical judgement, but with reflection and analysis, the first step in countering misinformation.
Resources to follow soon…