This guide provides instructions for educators on how to access and use coral radioisotope data for classroom activities. The data consist of Sr/Ca ratios and Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) for coral samples near Rarotonga Island in the South Specific gyre, covering a 271 year period, from the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology. Topics include methods for reconstructing temperature records, the South Pacific Gyre and EL Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the relevance of decadal variations in sea surface temperature. Students will learn to use the data to generate graphs comparing Sr/Ca ratios to historical temperature data and to calculate the statistical relationship between isotope ratios and temperature. They may also use linear regression analysis to compare and evaluate methods for reconstructing climate history and interpret chemical data from coral samples. A link to the dataset website and to links for additional references are also provided.


  • Science > Technology
  • Science > Oceanography
  • Science > Meteorology
  • Science > Earth Science
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-021,Education,NSDL,High School,Vocational/Professional Development Education,Undergraduate (Upper Division),Undergraduate (Lower Division),Science -- Instructional issues,Higher Education,Science -- Earth science,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20120911131123739T,Science -- Meteorology,Science -- Oceanography,Technology,Geoscience,Graduate/Professional,Science -- Technology



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike


This resource has not yet been aligned.
Curriki Rating
'NR' - This resource has not been rated
'NR' - This resource has not been rated

This resource has not yet been reviewed.

Not Rated Yet.

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467