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S'COOL : How to Use the Data

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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.)

Observation Database   
S'COOL Data Analysis Tutorial [PPT]

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 they made.
  • Etc...

Comparing to satellite data

Where the satellite data are available in the database, other activities are possible:
  • 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, land/ocean)?
  • Etc.



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Page Curator: Jay Madigan
NASA Official : Lin Chambers
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