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Climate detectives – Climate detectives
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Climate Detectives

We can all make a difference

 

Climate Detectives is an ESA school project that challenges students to ‘make a difference’ in understanding and protecting Earth’s climate. Students will identify a climate problem by observing their local environment and be tasked to investigate it as ‘Climate Detectives’. To this end, they will use available Earth Observation data or take measurements on the ground. Based on their investigation, teams will propose a way to help monitor or reduce the problem. At the end, all participating teams will share their research findings on the Climate Detectives website.

At key phases of the project, scientists and experts in the field of Earth observation and climate will support the teams.

Check out the Climate Detectives guidelines to find more details about participation

I want to investigate…

If you want to investigate weather and climate, the following list may provide you with ideas on where you can find data.

  • Start by reading some general climate documents (do not go into detailed reports) of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). There is a summary for teachers available here.
  • Find your local/regional/national meteorological institute or weather service in this list. You can also collect historical weather data.
  • The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) provides monthly climate bulletins and information about the past, present and future climate in Europe and the rest of the World.
  • The C3S Climate & Energy Education demo displays four climate variables (air temperature, precipitation, wind speed and global horizontal irradiance) graphically for Europe.
  • This classroom resource explains the difference between weather and climate and how scientists predict what Earth’s climate will be like in the future.

 

Do you want to collect your own data?

Keep a register of local weather that could include measurements of:

  • Air Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Wind
  • Humidity

 

Interview parents, teachers, grandparents, etc. asking them if they think the weather has changed.

If you want to investigate (extreme) weather, the following list may provide you with ideas on where you can find data.

  • Find your local/regional/national meterological institute or weather service in this list.
  • Get more background information about storms and tornadoes here.
  • The products available in this link could help to determine the relationship between extreme weather events and the state of the atmosphere beforehand.
  • You can investigate cloud and weather patterns making use of EO Data available in EO Browser. The true colour imagery in Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite products as well as the cloud products available in Copernicus Sentinel-5P data can be particularly useful.
  • Wind can tell us so much about how air masses move and how large storms move from being over the Atlantic to over Europe – as an example. This tool can often help visualise wind patterns, as well as atmosphere and ocean conditions.
  • This classroom resource uses the example of Hurricane Matthew to explore the applications of Earth observation data in tracking hurricanes.

 

Do you want to collect your data?

Keep a register of local weather that could include measurements of:

  • Air Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Wind
  • Humidity

Interview parents, teachers, grandparents, etc. asking them if they remember the occurrence of extreme weather events.

If you want to investigate floods & droughts, the following list may provide you with ideas on where you can find data.

  • Find your local/regional/national meteorological institute or weather service in this list.
  • Look for historical maps to see how rivers have changed
  • The European Drought Observatory provides drought-relevant information such as mapsof indicators. Different tools, like graphs and compare Layers, allow for displaying and analysing the information and irregularly published “Drought News” give an overview of the situation in case of imminent droughts.
  • EO Browser offers a “Floods & Droughts” theme in Education mode with preselected satellite and visualization options.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Management System provides maps about floods.

If you want to investigate water bodies, the following list may provide you with ideas on where you can find data.

  • EO Browser offers an “Oceans and water bodies” theme in Education mode with preselected satellite and visualization options.
  • • The BlueDot Water Observatory platform is based on the Copernicus satellite imagery and provides information about water levels of lakes, dams, reservoirs, wetlands and similar water bodies globally.
  • • The classroom resource “Highways of the oceans“ explains sea currents and their importance for understanding local climates.

 

Do you want to collect your data?

Keep a register for local water bodies that could include measurements of:

  • • Salinity
  • • Acidity
  • • Organisms
  • • Flora

If you want to investigate air pollution, the following list may provide you with ideas on where you can find data. When investigating air pollution don’t forget to point out the relation with climate.

  • • The European Environmental Agency (EEA) provides a lot of information on Air Quality.
  • • National environmental agencies can also be a good source of information.
  • • The Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite is measuring NO2 and other pollutants from space. You can find data from this and other satellites in EO Browser. Select the theme Atmosphere and Pollution.
  • • This ESA EO Browser tutorial explains how to use satellite data to measure air pollution
  • • The Atmospheric monitoring service from the Copernicus programme provides a European and global forecast daily.

 

Do you want to collect your data?

  • • You can find many ideas to build your own air quality sensor online. It is important to compare your measurements with official measurements to ensure accuracy. Whenever possible talk to experts from a local university or city officials in charge of air pollution measurements.
  • • Weather plays an important role in air quality. Therefore, you can also keep a register of local weather.
  • • Interview parents, teachers, grandparents, etc. asking them if they remember how the air quality used to be.

If you want to investigate flora & fauna, the following list may provide you with ideas on where you can find data.

  • EO Browser offers a “Vegetation” theme in Education mode with preselected satellite and visualization options.
  • • The ESA Education classroom resource “Infrared webcam hack” explains why we can see vegetation so well in satellite images.
  • • The Global Forest Watch (GFW) is an online platform that provides data and tools for monitoring forests. You can access near real-time information about where and how forests are changing around the world.

 

Do you want to collect your data?

Keep a register of local your local environment that could include:

  • • Vegetation maps
  • •  Plant types
  • • Plants per area
  • • Seasonal changes
  • • Analysis of bio indicators e.g. lichens. They can provide you with information regarding the health of vegetation.

If you want to investigate wildfires, the following list may provide you with ideas on where you can find data.

  • EO Browser offers a “Wildfires” theme in Education mode with preselected satellite and visualization options.
  • • This ESA EO Browser tutorial explores how to use satellite data to investigate wildfires.
  • • You can also have a look to what some Climate Detectives teams have done in past editions. Check here.

 

Do you want to collect your data?

Keep a register of the local environment that could include measurements of the health state of vegetation after the fire and how the vegetation is recovering.

Climate Detectives 2021-2022 projects

Thank you to all the Teams that shared their investigations. For ALL projects visit the Climate Detectives project gallery

  Climate change
INDICENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE . . . DISAPPEARANCE OF FOSSIL ICE FROM TORCAS DEL SOMO AND VALNERA (BURGOS)
 Spain
  Waste
 Espanya
  Wildfires
Investigation of the devastating forest . . . fire in Hirschwang / Rax (Austria) in 2021
 Austria
  Air pollution
 SPAIN
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