A Comparitive Study of Temperate and Desert Climates

Student(s):Morgan Rardon
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher(s):$user.getFullName() (inactive)
Report Type(s):Standard Research Report
Protocols:Precipitation, Water Temperature, Soil Temperature
Date Submitted:05/03/2013

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I chose this project because I was interested in how plants and animals adapt to the weather in different places. I've always wondered how so many plants (such as Cylindropuntia fulgida (jumping cactus)) and animals such as Suricata suricata (meerkat) have lived in such hot weather. Also, I thought it was interesting how the plants and animals endure and restrain heat and not having much water to drink or food to eat


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If you could repeat your project, what would you do differently?

What do you think is the main factor in the difference in surface temperature between the two climate types?

Posted on 5/14/13 7:57 PM.

Student of Steven Frantz
If I could repeat my project, I would select more schools to compare & use more past data from all three locations.

Akron, Ohio: 1050 feet
Las Vegas, Nevada: 2030 feet
Walvis Bay, Namibia: 299 feet

I only looked at surface temperature.
First, I would look at elevation, because, in class, we studied Mt. Kilimanjaro & followed the scientists as they hiked up the mountain. Even though Mt. Kilimnjaro is on the equator, there are glaciers at its summit. That would be the main difference overall.
There are many other factors such as cloud cover, which in Ohio, is very cloudy & we don't get as much energy from the sun. Las Vegas is not as cloudy as Ohio, & that allows more energy to reach the surface of the Earth around Nevada. Its really sunny in Namibia, & there are not many clouds.
Plus, Walvis Bay is right by the ocean, so that would also be an influence on the temperature.
Another contributing factor that I did not look at is the albedo of the surface, which would be an interesting approach when using satellite technology.

Thank you for your interesting questions & the possibility for expanding my project in the future!

Posted on 5/16/13 3:08 PM in reply to Jessica Mackaro.

Those are some great ideas! I hope you will look into some of them for an additional research project. You may also consider connecting with a GLOBE school in those areas so you can do a combined research project.

Posted on 5/17/13 7:31 PM in reply to Student of Steven Frantz.

Nice work, Morgan! Did anything in your results surprise you at all? If so, why? Also, how do you think you could relate this project to the animals that interest you?

Posted on 5/16/13 10:57 PM.

Student of Steven Frantz
Yes. The fact that Las Vegas, Nevada had a higher elevation than Akron, Ohio!
Usually, the higher elevations have a cooler temperature. But, in this case, Ohio had a higher elevation, & a lower temperature. That surprised me. Its also caused me to look at other factors that contribute to surface temperature, not just elevation alone.

At the start of my project, I was looking at many kinds of different plants & animals. But, it became apparent very early that this project was growing out of control, so I had to narrow my project down to make it more manageable for me.

I used the animal as an example for the climate. For example, if you were to take an animal that has adapted to the climate in Walvis Bay, Namibia or Las Vegas, Nevada, & moved it to Akron, Ohio, it would not be able to survive because that would be an extreme temperature for them. The opposite would also be true, if you were to take an Ohio animal to Nevada, or Namibia.
Its interesting how animals have learned to adapt to their own environment.

Thank you for your wonderful questions, & I was wondering if you were also an animal person?

Posted on 5/17/13 2:56 PM in reply to Julie Malmberg.

I do like learning about animals! Early in my research, I learned a lot about how animals adapt to different climates. Interesting topic!

Posted on 6/3/13 7:30 PM in reply to Student of Steven Frantz.

Very interesting topic, and like Julie said, I'd love to know more about how your findings affected the flora and fauna...great motivation for doing the project! I'm curious,what data did you use for the Las Vegas and Namibia sites? Was it GLOBE surface temperature data or air temperature data or something else? Also, what does the hot and cold data for each day and each site represent? Did you collect data at more than one time per day on each day?

Posted on 5/20/13 6:38 PM.

Student of Steven Frantz
No, I used past surface temperature from the website www.wunderground.com.

The hot & cold data represents the extreme temperature's in all three locations. I used them to compare the three sites for my conclusion.
& lastly, no, I did not. I collected data once a day nine times at the same time.

Thank you for your wonderful questions! (:

Posted on 5/23/13 2:47 PM in reply to Sarah Tessendorf.