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Projects gallery 2019-2020 – Climate detectives
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Projects gallery 2019-2020


Climate Detectives Projects 2019-2020

Project topic: Global warming

Project title: Signs of Global Warming

Team: Green Team

2019-2020   Scoala Gimnaziala Pui   Pui   Romania   6 Student’s age: 12-13, 14-15

Summary of the project

We live in a small village in the west of Romania called Pui. In terms of the relief, it is a hilly area, an intermountain basin with altitudes of 400 m, surrounded by mountains with altitudes of +2000 m. The inhabitants practice agriculture and animal husbandry. The weather in Pui was dry, extremely cold in winter and hot in summer and the levels of water rain and snow were not enough. It rains and snows very little. Water resources are decreasing and the temperature in summer is really high, while the temperature in winter is not as low as it used to be. We would like to support or refute this impression with the strength of data, collecting and analysing data about temperature, levels of rain and snow and water resources, overmore than 30 years. Based on the analysis of the data from Deva weather station (60 km away from our locality), starting with 1984, changes in the regime of extreme events were highlighted: – the increase of the annual frequency of tropical days (daily maximum > 30 degrees C) and the decrease of the annual frequency of winter days (daily maximum < 0 degrees C); – the significant increase of the average minimum summer temperature and the average maximum winter and summer temperature up to 1 degree C; – from the analysis of other phenomena, such as those from the cold season, a significant increase of the annual frequency of rime days – a phenomenon with negative influence on agricultural crops – was observed; – the number of snow cover days also decreased, in line with the warming during the winter trend. Agriculture is strongly influenced by weather and climate. While farmers in our village are often flexible in dealing with weather and year-to-year variability, there is not nevertheless a high degree of adaptation to the local climate in the form of established infrastructure, local farming practice and individual experience. Climate change can therefore be expected to impact on agriculture, potentially threatening established aspects of farming systems.

Main results

In the data from the Meteorological Institute of Romania (Administratia Nationala de Meteorologie) and Meteoblue, we can see that the mean temperature in Pui has risen about 2,8ᵒ C in the period 1961-1990, about 1,8 ᵒ C in the period 1981 – 2010 and total annual precipitation has less precipitation than usual. In order to attain our goal, we plan to collect from professional sources as METEOBLUE data, to at least the last 30 years, about maximum, minimum and average temperatures in Pui, as well as about levels of water rain and snow. We want to analyse the evolution of all these variables in order to establish/state if there is an increase of the temperatures and a decrease of the amount of water that Pui is receiving. At the same time, the project team will measure for 6 months (December 2019 – May 2020) the values of precipitation and the actual temperature from the external environment. The moment of temperature measurement is every day, at noon. At the same time, every day at 10 AM, we will use the graduated cylinder (using rain gauges built by the students) to measure the amount of rainwater collected in containers. We will make comparisons between the data recorded by our team and the data from 1984 to 2019 provided by Deva weather station. In this set of activities, students will learn how their senses and instruments can be used to describe and measure weather conditions. As an introductory activity, students will analyse local proverbs related to the weather. Then, they will use their senses to make weather observations and to learn how to describe the weather. Students will also build a small meteorological station and take weather measurements of rain and air temperature. Learning objectives: • Identify the weather elements ( temperature, precipitation); • Observe and record weather conditions; • Identify local weather processes; • Learn that satellites, computers and scientific instruments are used to make weather forecasts; • Learn how to take weather measurements; • Represent and interpret data. Studying the Temperature, rainfall and water resources of our local environment In order to conduct a comparative study, the set of data has been divided in three groups: red, yellow and blue (the national colors of Romania). Red group: temperature – 2 students; Yellow group: rainfall – 2 students; Blue group: water – 2 students. – In the period 1961 – 1990, the mean temperature has risen about 2,8ᵒ C ; – In the period 1981 – 2010, the mean temperature has risen about 1,8ᵒ C ; – In the period 1956 – 2000, the total annual precipitation has less precipitation than usual with 150 mm/year; – In the period 2007 – 2019, the agricultural land has increased in area by 15% to the detriment of forests (acacia, willow, poplar) in the context of EU agricultural subsidies; – The comparisons between the data recorded by our team and the data from 1984 to 2019 provided by Deva weather station: December 2019 – Marth 2020, temperatures has risen about 1,5 ᵒ C and precipitation is lower with 200 mm / year.

Actions to help lessen the problem

Using a survey of 213 farming households , this study investigates corn/potatoes/wheat farmers’ adaptation to long-term drought in Pui village. It identified factors determining farmers’ adaptation responses to addressing water scarcity. The analysis shows that farmers with more experience of farming and an awareness of climatic effects are more likely to adopt alternative adaptation strategies. Average temperatures have risen since 1961, with an increased rate of warming over the past 30 years. Many extreme temperature conditions are becoming more common. Since the 1970s, unusually hot summer days (highs) have become more common over the last few decades in the Pui. Unusually hot summer nights (lows) have become more common at an even faster rate. This trend indicates less “cooling off” at night. Although the Pui village has experienced many winters with unusually low temperatures, unusually cold winter temperatures have become less common—particularly very cold nights (lows). Record-setting daily high temperatures have become more common than record lows. The decade from 2000 to 2009 had twice as many record highs as record lows. Total annual precipitation has to less precipitation than usual. Drought conditions across the Pui have increased, a more detailed index shows that between 2000 and 2015, the drought conditions increased with 10%. What can be done locally to fight climate change? Create a joint local action plan. Local farmers can get help from local environmental groups, local authorities and agricol advice centre; We plant more trees; Village days around Pui tell people about agricol efficiency measures and grants. Local students give a presentation at the events, building on special lessons in their schools. Each event is publicised in advance, through visits to community groups and schools and leaflets sent to each home; Village plans are an excellent means of promoting action in the community, and can be prepared by village councils with extensive participation from the local population. Climate change mitigation and adaptation can be addressed in village plans. Our improvement proposals: There is an increase of the maximum temperatures, and a decrease in the amount of water, we intend to do following activities: 1. Food: Buy local, organic food; 2. Curriculum – Integrating Climate Change in our school: At Pui Secondary School, environmental education is taught in isolation, therefore is not mast linked to all areas of the curriculum: geography, science, english, mathematics, art, music, history; 3. Grow your own veg! We want to change the way children value their food and how they look at the farming industry. Students plant their own fruit, can develop their understanding in farming and where their food comes from. 4. Transport: Encouraged walking and cycling to school (many students wait for the school bus even if they live near the school); 5. Travel: Explore local landscapes. Get involved in social or environmental projects. Students will learn just as much.

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