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This TIEE Data Set presents long term data on changes in dates of ice cover in three Wisconsin lakes. Global temperatures have increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit during the last century, most likely the result of “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide from burning of gasoline, oil, and coal. There are many environmental consequences of warmer temperatures, some unexpected. One challenge to our understanding of environmental effects due to global warming is lack of data collected over long periods of time. In this activity, students plot more than 100 years of data on dates of "ice on" and "ice off" and duration of ice cover and examine patterns of variation at different time scales.
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords TIEE; pedagogy; inquiry based; ice on; ice off; ice cover; lake; global warming; climate change; long term research
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description This Data Set can be used to teach about global warming and the value of long term data using a student-active approach. The instructor can assign groups of students to plot the data in 20-year intervals and then ask the class to compare those graphs to a graph on which the entire 150-year data set is plotted.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Adam Welman
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation University of Wisconsin, Madison

Cornell University
Primary Author email

Cornell University
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Copyright 2007 by Robert Bohanan, Marianne Krasny, Adam Welman, and the Ecological Society of America.
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2007-10-23
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2010-02-16 01:29:34
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-25 09:09:17
Release Flag Published

Resource Comments

Subject: Comment On: Changes in Lake Ice: Ecosystem Response to Global Change
Posted By: tlevine
Date Posted: 2018-05-15 05:07:33
This module was implemented in an upper-level aquatic ecology course as a worksheet integrating physical and ecological aspects of lake ecosystems:
Subject: Comment On: Changes in Lake Ice: Ecosystem Response to Global Change
Posted By: mvasq255
Date Posted: 2018-05-14 18:21:45
This module was implemented in a non-science majors intro biology course. Please find my materials here:
Subject: Comment On: Changes in Lake Ice: Ecosystem Response to Global Change
Posted By: dgrise
Date Posted: 2016-05-20 16:29:44
Implemented as written in a dual-credit biology course. Instructor notes can be found at:

This message was edited by tmourad on June 16, 2016 at 11:33 am.