Looking into the Greenland Ice sheet

GreenlandIceGreenland holds the second-largest volume of ice in the world. Complete melting would raise sea levels by over 6m! So having a look “under the hood” is valuable for understanding the dynamics of the ice sheet.

NASA has put together a valuable teaching video and article showing and describing how ice-penetrating radar, combined with ice core analysis allows climatologists to see the various layers and ages of Greenland’s ice sheet: Data peers into Greenland’s ice sheet. Pealing back the layers reveals ice as far back as the Eemian interglacial stage, previous to the most recent Ice Age.

For students, there is an additional spin-off from this teaching resource as it can be used to illustrate the variety of jobs linked to Geography and the pursuit of knowledge. After viewing the visualization and discussing the main points, try having students list all the jobs linked not just to the study itself, but to the logistics behind the study, the production of the video, the article and the website: climatologists, database engineers, flight crews, ground crews, animators, web engineers, authors. Geography isn’t just about the data gleaned, but more and more it’s about bringing the data to the people in way everyone can understand. In other words, one can be a “Geographer” involved directly in the study itself, but one can also be a Geographer involved in all the roles that support the study utilizing skills in a variety of other areas.

For more information, check out GeoKnow.net > Anthroposphere > Issues > Climate Change.

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