S'COOL : How to Use the Data
Some ideas on how to use the data in the S'COOL Observation database are given
here. These ideas are just to help you start thinking about this. There are
many other possibilities that you may want to try, and more and more things
will be possible as we collect a longer and more extensive data record.
If you come up with a good idea/activity, please let us know so we can include
it here for other teachers to use.
(Note: the format of the query report is not finalized. If you have
comments/suggestions on how it should look, please pass them along.)
Using ground observations only
Since only limited satellite observations are available during the development
phases, here are some ideas (not all will be suitable for all grade levels/ages)
for what to do with just the students' observations:
- Retrieve all the observations for your location, and have the students make
graphs or charts.
- Retrieve all observations for your local region and compare to what you
saw or make maps of clouds in your area.
- Retrieve observations from other parts of the globe, and compare to what
you saw, make maps, etc. (Consult the
Monthly Top 10 observers list to find likely places to study.)
- A few places have reported data more than once a day. If you find such
records, look at how the clouds change with time of day.
- What is the effect of different time zones on the data we receive?
- Have students write about the experience, or about the graphs or maps
Comparing to satellite data
Where the satellite data are available in the database, other activities are
- Retrieve the satellite data and plot or map them as suggested above.
- Compare your observations to the satellite results. Do they agree? If
not, can you explain why? Consider:
- Perspective differences (top vs bottom)
- Field of view differences (did the satellite look at exactly the same piece
of sky you did?)
- Definition issues (i.e., CERES splits mid- vs high clouds at exactly 6km,
which is not always what nature does)
- Clear sky determination - if you consistently see disagreement here, you
should send e-mail to us, so that
CERES scientists can look for a problem in the clear-sky algorithm.
- Multilayer clouds are a big issue in CERES. You could take a look at
the database and identify how often they occur. You could also study how
often we cannot say whether they occur, due to the presence of thick low clouds
(for the ground observer) or thick high clouds (for the satellite). Is there
an area where multilayer clouds are more common (coastal area, interior,
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