The Get Real! Science Blog

  • Unless you've been living under a rock, you are aware of the global climate change crisis we are currently facing on planet Earth. You may also ask yourself, "Who is at fault for this?", "Why should I care?", and "What parts of our planet are getting hit hardest?". In this post, I will provide answers to these often misunderstood questions, but more importantly, I will be focusing on one particular geographic region that is often overlooked by the general public: the Arctic.

    What is the Arctic?

    A region that falls within the Arctic Circle. The edge of that circle is defined as the northernmost point at which the sun is visible on the northern winter solstice and the southernmost point at which the midnight sun can be seen on the northern summer solstice. The high Arctic is that most northerly third of this region. It’s a region dominated by snow cover much of the year.

    Below is a regional map of the Arctic. Take note of the red dashed line and how it crosses over various political boundaries.


    The Details

    On September 18, 2019, the Arctic sea ice reached its minimum extent this year, at 4.16 million square kilometers. This number is the second lowest on record, with only 3.4 million square kilometers in 2012 topping it. This is nothing to be proud of. Especially when you come to accept with the fact that this is all due to anthropogenic causes or human induced. An increase in greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere is the leading cause for our warming planet.

    Over the last century, the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This happens because the coal or oil burning process combines carbon with oxygen in the air to make CO2. To a lesser extent, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities has increased concentrations of greenhouse gases as well.

    According to a recent special report on the ocean and cryosphere, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body for assessing the science due to climate change, claim that we could very likely see an ice-free Arctic once every 100 years if we limit warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. But, if we warm to 2 C, that would increase to once every three years.

    The Science

    Snow and ice have long played a vital role in moderating Earth's climate since the beginning of time. The white surfaces reflect the sun's radiation, which in turn help to maintain a comfortable temperature to sustain life on our planet.

    Since our planet is experiencing an extreme warming effect, ice thins and melts which then exposes the dark water below, which then absorbs the radiation. So each year the global temperature rises, melting more ice and more snow. This process is called a positive feedback loop, warming causes ice melt, ice melt causes warming. And that process — also called Arctic amplification, the science explaining why temperatures are warming faster in the Arctic region than anywhere else in the world. This ultimately leads to what we are observing now, which is a rapidly changing climate.

    The positive (amplifying) climate feedback loop.


    Arctic Amplification

    In order to fully understand why the Arctic sea ice reached its second lowest minimum extent this year, it is imperative to understand the scientific complexity behind this phenomenon.

    In sum, the loss of sea ice is a major reason. When bright white and reflective ice melts, it gives way to a darker ocean; this amplifies the warming trend because the ocean surface absorbs more heat from the Sun than the surface of snow and ice. In more technical terms, losing sea ice reduces Earth’s albedo: the lower the albedo, the more a surface absorbs heat from sunlight rather than reflecting it back to space.

    Since the Arctic circle is largely covered in ice, it is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet!

    Temperature anomaly map showcasing the large increases in temperatures (red) in the Arctic region. The darker the red, the greater the warming effect in that region or Arctic amplification.


    Watch the NASA video below to learn more.

    Military Involvement?

    If you are interested in learning about the political and military impact this warming trend has had on the Arctic region, read this article from National Geographic.


Hana’s latest post

An Ice-Free Arctic: Why should you care?

By |May 25th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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How-to Write A Top Level View to get a Research-Paper

The most difficult portion of writing an article must be starting it. Not just do essays have to be adequately descriptive, they also must possess the standard of producing a disagreement either for or against the special essay subject. Article writing hints are crucial for every one of the pupils that lack the capacities or aren’t assured of their ability to write quality documents. […]

By |April 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Investigable Questions

This week in class, we talked about investigable
questions. Asking questions is a critical part of science. Wondering about the
world and questioning the human experience has inspired many a scientist.
Asking “why” will inspire the scientists of the future, as well. I believe that
the old saying, “no such thing as a bad question,” has merit.

However, not all questions are created equal. In
science education, we focus on a particular type of question – investigable
questions. Asking questions is one of the Science and Engineering Practices
defined by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Other practices include
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Analyzing and Interpreting […]

By |March 16th, 2019|Uncategorized|2 Comments

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Can NGSS work with Differentiation and College Prep?

There is a very active NGSS Twitter community, and observing and participating in their discussions is providing our Get Real! Science team of teachers-in-training with invaluable insight into the struggles and accomplishments that current science teachers are dealing with and celebrating as they shift their traditional teaching approaches to better align with NGSS goals.

On February 4, 2019, the NGSS Twitterverse tackled the questions of how to differentiate instruction with NGSS and how to balance NGSS with college prep.

Responses from teachers discussed varying the amount of structure they provide when they introduce labs. The goal is to have […]

By |March 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|1 Comment

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Jenkins’ GRS Perspective

CLASS #2 We had our second class this semester in Implementing Innovation this past week. Many of us have started our second student teaching placement (Robin you will be there soon! Alyssa I hope you are feeling better!)

WHERE WE’RE COMING FROM, WHERE WE’RE GOING Many of us are that same combination of nervous and excited to start student teaching. What will it be like to jump into a new school culture? Students have already done “school” for the last 5 or so months, how will we fit into already established classroom norms […]

By |March 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Science for All

This evening the masters and doctoral students presented to science teachers at The World of Inquiry School, School 58. Masters students focused on their best lesson and presented the components of their unit bundle that make a highly effective science unit. The doctoral students presented their work from the science lessons on social justice, identity, respect, and indigenous knowledge.

Sherin and I presented on our studies in social justice in science education. Sherin focused on increasing access to science in informal spaces, specifically after-school programs. One of the key-takeaways from Sherin’s presentation is how informal learning opportunities greatly impact the fostering of […]

By |December 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Identity, Respect, and Indigenous People, Oh my!

This week, Yang, Saliha, and Elizabeth rounded out our doctoral student lessons. Yang and Saliha’s lesson focused on identity and respect in science teaching, while Elizabeth discussed science teaching for students from Indigenous populations.

Have you heard Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk “The Dangers of a Single Story”? She’s one of my favorite authors and on me and my best friend’s list of people we need to stalk. Well, if you’ve heard Beyonce’s ***Flawless, you’ve definitely heard her brilliance. You know what I’m talking about, that speech towards the end that starts with “We teach our girls to shrink themselves, […]

By |December 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Social Justice and Urban Youth After School/Community/University Outreach Science Programs — The Mission of Get Real! Science

There’s a stranger in town …

Howdy Gang!  As I slide into the guest chair this week I wanted to wish you all a very happy post-Thanksgiving.  Maybe your turkey soup is simmering as you read this … Be sure to see my blog for further post-Thanksgiving instructions and remember, I’ll be following up with you!

You can do it if they can!1
As you learned from Lisa’s blog last week, the master’s students have completed their Ambitious Science Teaching mini-unit in their classrooms. Congrats to all!  In December, the rest of us will get to see the fruit of their labors during our […]

By |November 23rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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On Reflection

As part of the certification process to become teachers in New York State, my cohort and I will be completing the EdTPA. Robin and Sam both talked a bit about the EdTPA in recent posts (here and here, respectively). If you missed that, basically the EdTPA involves recording yourself teaching and analyzing your performance. I really dislike being filmed and judged, so I have been trying not to think about it.

It’s coming though. We have been talking about the EdTPA in class over the past couple of weeks, so the denial thing hasn’t really been working.  At the same […]

By |November 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Once the Teaching Begins

By the end of this week in the middle of November, each person in our Get Real! Science cohort will be teaching a mini-unit in our student teaching classrooms. Depending on our experiences with our cooperating teachers this semester, this may be the first time we will be leading instruction in these classrooms.

We have learned a lot of theory since we started in May, and we have had varied experiences in informal education settings. We have talked with each other and our cooperating teachers about what we plan to teach, and we have developed detailed lesson plans for review […]

By |November 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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I am who I am.

I was struggling with constructing this week’s blog and it took me so long.

Though I have claimed that my research interest is teacher identity, recently I think I haven’t really thought about identity issue. I am saying this because I don’t take my name seriously, which is one of the important representations of identity.

Last week, when I checked out my reserved book from the library, the student worker asked my name. For the sake of convenience, I gave him my ID card because I thought if I said my name, he didn’t know how to spell it and I […]

By |November 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|2 Comments

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Community-Based Learning, EdTPA, and Scale

Scale, proportion, and quantity in NGSS

In Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), scale, proportion, and quantity play an important role as one of the Crosscutting Concepts we consider when thinking about ecosystems, chemical reactions, particles, space, and so much more! According to NGSS Hub,
“…it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different size, time, and energy scales, and to recognize proportional relationships between different quantities as scales of change.”
From K-2, when learners discuss the sizes of objects and events in relation to one another (bigger and smaller, faster and slower), to High School, when learners use orders of magnitude […]

By |October 26th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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