2015 Surface Temperature Field Campaign


A map of the world showing pins which denote the area's temperature by color.
The map above shows observations from the 2014 field campaign from 9 December 2014.  As you can see, there is a large range in surface temperature observations between the northern latitudes of the US and Europe compared to Trinidad and Tobago and Saudi Arabia.
Students taking surface temperature of the green playground.
Students taking surface temperature measurements
on a green playground in the Dominican Republic.

The GLOBE Program will host its annual surface temperature field campaign from 1-31 December 2015.  The campaign is a great opportunity for schools around the world to work together as a community on a common research project. 

“The surface temperature field campaign may be even more interesting this year with the strong El Nino occurring currently in the Pacific Ocean,” stated GLOBE Partner Kevin Czajkowski. Czajkowski developed the surface temperature protocol for the campaign.

Students participating in the campaign are encouraged to answer the following questions: 

  • How do parking lots affect surface temperature? 
  • How does the height of grass affect surface temperature?
  • What is the best color for a playground to keep it cool for the students? 

The data submitted by students is available on the GLOBE website and is used by researchers of all ages – from fourth graders to graduate students at universities.  One of Czajkowski’s own graduate students recently published her master’s thesis using student data from past campaigns and found strong warming in urban areas.  

Teachers will need to have access to an infrared thermometer (IRT) in order to complete the protocol.  Czajkowski recommends a Fluke 63 or a Fluke 561, but other IRTs work as well. When setting up your surface temperature site, please specify the type of IRT you are using.  If you are having difficulty finding an IRT, you may be able to borrow one from a heating and cooling specialist or an auto mechanic. 

Czajkowski added: “It is my hope that continued expansion of the surface temperature field campaign will help students of all ages answer interesting and important research questions.”  

You can read how students in the Dominican Republic positively affected their school environment and had an influence on others around the world from participating in the first Surface Temperature Campaign, here.

Find information from last year’s field campaign, here.  

Questions? Contact Kevin Czajkowski via email.

Resources: 



News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office


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