2011-02-04 21:02:49DRAFT: Blog-post about Climate-quizzes
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.188.7

Note: this drafted blog-post was jumpstarted by Anna’s thread in the authors-forum . Anna recently passed the ball to me as I got the quiz-idea originally started on another list last year. A set of Anna’s questions and some discussion can be found ...here.

Update #1  Feb. 5, 2011 - Incorporated suggested text received from Anna via email and suggested changes in the quiz. Uploaded new pdf-version of the quiz.

Update #2  Feb. 5, 2011 - as I wanted to "play" a bit with the formatting, I already created the unpublished blog-post:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Quiz.html

Update #3  Feb. 8, 2011 - uploaded the latest version of both the Powerpoint- and the PDF-version of the quiz. Updated the blog-post accordingly.  Created an online photo-album at Kodakgallery with the individual slides of the quiz as JPGs. Below is the updated blog-post.


So, you think that learning about climate change needs to be tedious?

Actually, that isn’t necessarily so if the information is gift-wrapped or disguised as a fun but not trivial climate-quiz! In the course of working as a voluntary zoo-docent, I have helped to put together several quizzes to pique visitors’ interest about specific topics like tigers, rhinos, the rainforests or right now apes. All of these quizzes contain general questions about the animals and areas but don’t shirk away from the hard themes like the dire straits these species and regions are in. Questions which come with striking visuals or comparisons work best to get people thinking. We’ve been using the quizzes as one element of various materials – some of it “hands-on” – on our touch-tables. If the visitors are interested to learn more, some of the questions and answers can then be explained in more detail.

As I was preparing to give a talk about climate change last year, I started to put together a climate-quiz which can simply be printed out, put into a file-folder and put on a desk for people to leaf through on their own. A "quiz-master" can also be at hand to give some assistance or to provide additional explanations to go with the answers. In addition, the quiz can also be used at the start of an otherwise perhaps dry lecture about climate change, or some of the questions and answers can be scattered throughout the presentation to engage the audience (or to keep them alert!).

Here is an example:

Example-01-Question

Example-01-Answer

The complete quiz is currently available for download as either a PDF-file or as a  Powerpoint-version. The latter allows adding suitable animations for online-presentations or creating a “run-it-yourself” interactive version where clicking on the correct answer jumps to the next slide and clicking on a wrong answer just gives a beep. There are other options as well: each slide can be created as a graphics-file (eg. jpg or gif) and these pictures can then be uploaded into an online photo-album – the only caveat for this version is, that there needs to be an option to view the pictures large enough to actually read the text (Note: Kodakgallery lets you switch to "full screen" via a link at the bottom of the screen)!

That's Baerbel's beautiful, visitor-friendly quiz.  For a quiz overlapping Baerbel's but with a lower-tech presentation, Anna Haynes has a set of climate quiz questions online right now as two sets of flash cards: one with multiple choice answers and the other with open answers. All the answers come with links to further information.

These quizzes have another purpose: they can help us learn whether Dunning&Kruger's most encouraging finding - that given feedback, even those students who didn't know that they didn't know, could improve - holds true in the realm of climate awareness.

Suggestions?  How should we accumulate further quiz questions?  What's a good format to store & display them?   

Please let me know what you think about the drafted blog-post (it is my first) and the questions currently included in the quiz. Are the questions and answers clear enough and - even more important! - are they correct (the German version has already been vetted, but I'd like to ensure that the English version is as well)?

Thanks much and cheers
Baerbel

2011-02-05 03:47:09nice job
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Looks good Baerbel.  Just one minor edit I would make:

"the dire straits all of them are in." => "the dire straits these species are in."

2011-02-05 04:37:46Thanks Dana!
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.181.191
I edited the post accordingly.
2011-02-05 08:29:01Suggestions
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.149.21
Q1: should you use 'temperature anomalies'? Will the average person know what that means? Perhaps 'change in temperature' is simpler.

350 question: the last sentence is cut off.

CO2 zigzag: typo dependend -> dependent

Greenland ice: I wonder if you should replace Gt with gigatonnes or billion tonnes. Also do you want me to email you WMF files of my Greenland ice cubes so it looks better on the coloured background?

Defining climate: quotes around climate should be "climate"

Ditto re Top Ten quotes

Should the top ten question be updates with 2010? otherwise people will wonder why it's not there.

2011-02-05 09:23:27Thanks John!
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.181.191

Replies to your suggestions:

Q1: should you use 'temperature anomalies'? Will the average person know what that means? Perhaps 'change in temperature' is simpler.
==> changed in the ppt-file

350 question: the last sentence is cut off.
CO2 zigzag: typo dependend -> dependent
==> corrected

Greenland ice: I wonder if you should replace Gt with gigatonnes or billion tonnes.
==> changed to gigatonne(s)

Also do you want me to email you WMF files of my Greenland ice cubes so it looks better on the coloured background?
==> Yes, please!

Defining climate: quotes around climate should be "climate"
Ditto re Top Ten quotes
==> changed, but doesn't look "perfect" due to the German settings I have on my laptop

Should the top ten question be updates with 2010? otherwise people will wonder why it's not there.
==> I was wondering about that myself but left it as is, as I don't have a means to generate fitting graphs if 2010 is included. Is a chart like that available?

I'll wait with regenerating and uploading the updated pdf-file in case some more suggestions are posted.

Thanks and Cheers
Baerbel

 

2011-02-05 11:09:40
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.174.250

Baerbel:

350 degree answer answer "save upper limit" should be "safe" The same typo is in the next answer slide

the word "lowlying" should be broken into two words

"island-nations" shouldn't be hyphenated 

The hurricane was Katrina, not Kathrina

"ocean-acidification" shouldn't be hyphenated 

 

I flunked some questions but learned something, thanks! 

2011-02-05 11:50:27 A few corrections
ahaynes

annahaynes_nc@yahoo...
68.121.54.43

Nice, and very appealing to visitors, I think. 

Suggestions/corrections -

You can now add 2010, to the "hottest 10 years" list. 

 agricultural not agricultral(p.15)

p. 20 definition of climate, I think should include "climate is what you expect, weather is what you get" (since people seem to absorb this easily)  (p.s. I like that you have the "climate trains the boxer" quote!)

 

 

 

 

 

2011-02-05 19:39:49Updated drafted blog-post with your suggestions
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.184.124

Hi Folks,

thanks for your suggestions and spottet typos (say, is there a rule of whether combined words are hyphenated or not?). I have corrected the quiz and updated the drafted blog post above. I also received some new text from Anna for her part of this co-authored post and the new draft shows that as well.

I still haven't acted upon the suggestion to add 2010 to the 10 hottest years as I don't have a fitting chart/plotted graph for that. Also: wouldn't one of the mentioned years (2001 to 2009) fall off that list as 1998 also belongs there? Which years should be in the proposed selection if 2010 gets added?

Cheers
Baerbel

2011-02-06 03:33:32Unpublished blog-post
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.188.205

Hi Folks,

as I wanted to "play" a bit with the formatting, I already created the unpublished blog-post:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Quiz.html

I put the frist part of Anna's piece - which she sent via email - into a greenbox to separate this a bit from the rest of the text. To me, it had looked a bit weird as continuous text. I'm also not quite sure yet about the wording.

Cheers
Baerbel

2011-02-08 01:27:58
ahaynes

annahaynes_nc@yahoo...
69.105.94.218

re "is there a rule of whether combined words are hyphenated or not?" - the rule seems to be that, if they're acting as an adjective, they're hyphenated, but if acting as a noun, they're not.  So, we have the red-spotted newt sitting in a red spot of Kool-Aid.

Thank you Baerbel for our post!  :-)

2011-02-08 02:13:53
ahaynes

annahaynes_nc@yahoo...
69.105.94.218

re the 10 hottest years now that we've had 2010, there's a table at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hottest_years_on_record#Warmest_years

 

2011-02-08 03:46:44New version
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.172.199

Hi Folks,

in order to get this perhaps published ahead of my upcoming vacation, I deleted the Q&A about the 10 hottest years and replaced it with a question about the (in)complete carbon cycle.

New question:
Q-Carbon-Cycle

A-Carbon-cycle 

The latest version of the quiz is available as a PDF:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/4_Climate-Quiz.pdf

I have also slightly updated the drafted blog-post and guess that it's as ready for publishing as it can be. I'll leave the exact timing of that to John in order to not interrupt any of the other currently planned blog-posts.

Cheers

Baerbel

2011-02-08 15:34:55
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.174.250

Anna wrote: re "is there a rule of whether combined words are hyphenated or not?" - the rule seems to be that, if they're acting as an adjective, they're hyphenated, but if acting as a noun, they're not.  So, we have the red-spotted newt sitting in a red spot of Kool-Aid.

My favorite example of the importance of getting hyphenating right comes from the book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves", where the author points out that the expressions "extra-marital sex" and "extra marital sex" mean very different things indeed.

2011-02-09 01:21:53Thanks Anna & Andy....
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.148.29

....for the explanations about hyphenation!

I updated the blog-post with links to the latest PDF- and Powerpoint-version of the quiz. I also added a link to a newly created online-photo-album where each slide of the quiz can be viewed as a JPG-file.

2011-02-09 10:12:47Just published
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.149.21
Many thanks, Baerbel! I hope the comments thread provides useful feedback for future developments.
2011-02-10 06:32:00Zig-zagging Mauna Loa chart
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.155.216

Sphaerica mentions the following in a comment:

"Slide 13 explains how CO2 drops in spring/summer, but not how it rises so precipitously again in the fall/winter. I think the gap will lead the ignorant to believe that plant CO2 uptake is a mitigating factor (contrary to the clear evidence of the graph)."

How about changing the explanation to something like this?

"It‘s a reaction to the vegetation-cycle of the northern hemisphere
 During spring/summer CO2-concentration in the atmosphere goes down measurably as CO2 is absorbed by plants when their leaves grow. During fall/winter, the concentration goes up due to decaying leaves and plants. Overall, the trend is clearly upwards (black line, where the seasonal changes have been smoothed out)"

Should I also state that the clear upwards trend is due to our activities which put additional CO2 into the atmosphere each year?

2011-02-10 20:42:13New Q&A about temperature change graphic
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.179.227

The graphic about temperature change over time has been updated to now also show Nov/Dec 2010 (which had been missing earlier)

As this is such a vivid image of temperatur change, I used it for an additional question of the quiz:

Are there other ideas for possible answers and is the answer clear enough?

As I won't be around much today, I'll wait with uploading the latest quiz-version until tomorrow. It will then also contain most of the suggestions posted in the comments so far.

Thanks much and Cheers
Baerbel