Grade levels: 9-12

Lesson Objective: The Learner Will Be Able To:
1. Apply prior learning about ice core research to a specific geographic area.
2. Learn more about what the Mount Logan ice can teach us.
3. Hypothesize about what future research may reveal.


  • Computers with internet access
  • Research Sheets (below)
Lesson Process:

1. Introduce the lesson by reviewing what has been learned from the beginning of the unit: jet streams and global climate patterns, how air currents flow from SE Asia to the Yukon/Alaska/NW British Columbia area, and how records of atmospheric “events” can be preserved in the ice, and then studied through ice core research.

2. Go to the computers, and help students navigate to the website. Distribute research sheets. Their research sheet for today will cover the last two subsections of the climate change section; specifically to do with the results of the Mount Logan research.

Student Research Sheet: Ice Cores 3

Use the subsections The Mount Logan ice-core record of atmospheric circulation history and The Mount Logan ice-core record of Asian dust storms to complete this research sheet.

1. Explain the climate history (temperature record) shown by the Greenland ice cores.

2. In what way does the Mount Logan research differ?

3. What is the current hypothesis of the researchers as to why these records differ?

4. What are different water isotopes? What determines the different isotopes that will evaporate and be carried by the air currents to the Mount Logan area?

5. Explain the natural changes in wind currents and the Jet Stream and how this may have effected the water isotopes dropped on Mount Logan.

6. What does the Logan ice core data show about how quickly the storm patterns can change, and what could this mean for human inhabitants?

7. How do Asian Dust storms effect the North Pacific Ocean?

8. What else is carried in the dust storms?

9. How much dust was transported from the Gobi Desert to the Yukon as a result of the 2001 dust storm?

10. How can the record of Asian dust storms contained in the Mount Logan ice cap contribute to our understanding of global warming?