Guided Exploration: Climate & Climate Change


HoPE Tour Map: Climate


1. Weather and Climate Section

The complex interaction of many factors — the amount of sunlight, the condition of the atmosphere, the ocean, the solid Earth, the ice sheets, and life itself — regulates climate and causes it to change. Explore this area to learn about the relationships between the atmosphere, ocean, climate, and weather. Then investigate greenhouse gases and the role of carbon in the climate system.

The World Ocean_HERO

Hall Section

The world ocean

Changes in ocean circulation strongly influence climate.

Climate Cycles

Hall Section

Climate cycles

The seasons, which are caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis, are the most important periodic fluctuations in climate.

The Atmosphere

Hall Section

The atmosphere

The atmosphere is an envelope of gases that surrounds the Earth and is held there by gravity.

2. Ice Core, Deep-Sea Sediment Core (#8), and Tree Ring Section (#13)

Climate changes over time. This record is preserved in glaciers, in lake and ocean sediments, in corals and trees, and in rocks. Watch the video and explore how scientists use different types of evidence to learn about past climate. Then use the ice core interactive to further investigate the climate record.

Ice core

Exhibit Object

Model: ice core

Three 1-meter lengths from a core that penetrated through the entire 3,022-meter-thick Greenland Ice Sheet.

Tree ring section

Exhibit Object

Tree-ring section

This is a cross section of a white spruce that lived from 1441 to 1931.

3. Carbon Cycle Diagram

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere strongly influences climate. Explore how carbon moves through Earth and the different roles of short- and long-term reservoirs (e.g. the ocean versus the mantle and crust).

The Carbon Cycle

Exhibit Object

The Carbon Cycle

Carbon is a major component of all life, and in the form of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, it helps to maintain a habitable range in temperatures.