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  • High School

    Earth and Human Activity

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity. HS-ESS3-6

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

Mathematical and computational thinking in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

Mathematics

  • HSN-Q.A.1 - Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays. (HS-ESS3-6)
  • HSN-Q.A.2 - Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling. (HS-ESS3-6)
  • HSN-Q.A.3 - Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities. (HS-ESS3-6)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-ESS3-6)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (HS-ESS3-6)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • In this activity, students create a 3-D visual of global carbon pools and net fluxes between pools with anthropogenic influences. Students work in teams of 2-4 to complete the activity. On day one, students discuss carbon pools and forms of carbon, a ...

  • This data set, when used in conjunction with the phenomena resource, Melting Glaciers, would allow students to investigate the question: How has the rate of glacial area changed in the past 50 years?   The data set contains the measur ...

  • “Paleoclimatology” is Day 15 in a larger unit from Environmental Literacy and Inquiry in which  students use a timeline to explore global temperature changes. In this activity, students investigate how climate has changed in the last ...

  • In the lesson “People and Climate Change: The Data Is In,” students interpret information in various formats (graphic, written, and visual) and draw conclusions based on the data. They hypothesize cause and effect relationships between hu ...

  • In this resource, images of glaciers from the late 1800s and early 1900s are compared to present day conditions. This is part of a project by the U.S. Geological Survey called Repeat Photography, where “photographers using photos of glaciers fr ...

  • This lesson is part of the,  Our Wetlands, Our World High School Activity Guide to Upper Newport Bay developed by the California Coastal Commission and can be found on pages 70-74 of the pdf file. In this lesson, students compare aerial photogra ...

  •   Teaching Climate Literacy Web resources is designed to help educators become prepared to teach climate science.  The resource addresses Earth’s climate system and the impact of human activities. The resource defines and provides ...

  • The Ocean-Carbon Connection, starting on page 17 of the link,  is level two of five levels contained in the Understanding Ocean Acidification curriculum module developed for the NOAA Ocean Data Education (NODE) Project. In this lesson, students ...

  • In this exercise, students analyze climate data to find areas in the southern United States that are now close to having conditions in which the malaria parasite and its mosquito hosts thrive and then attempt to forecast when areas might become clima ...

  •   This activity uses the 5E (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate) to guide students through the causes and effects of global climate change. In engage, students watch several videos and identify nine pieces of evidence of global cli ...

  •   In a series of five activities, students will explore the question, "Will there be enough freshwater?" Students explore how water moves above and below Earth's surface by using interactive computational models. Students use NO ...

  • National Geographic created a series of three lessons exploring human impact on the environment. In the first activity, students explore maps and identify patterns of human population and impact on the environment. In the second activity, students le ...

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  • Climate science, data visualization, and systems thinking for middle and high school students and their teachers.

  • This carbon footprint calculator is set up for easy-to-use inputs for three sectors: home energy use, local transportation, and home waste generation.

  • In this activity, students calculate temperatures during a time in the geologic record when rapid warming occurred using a well known method called 'leaf-margin analysis.' Students determine the percentage of the species that have leaves with smooth ...

  • In this intermediate Excel activity, students import US Historical Climate Network mean temperature data into Excel from a station of their choice. They are then guided through the activity on how to use Excel for statistical calculations, graphing, ...

  • This lesson guides a student inquiry into properties of the ocean's carbonate buffer system, and how changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may affect ocean pH and biological organisms that depend on calcification.

  • This activity uses a mix of multimedia resources and hands-on activities to support a storyline of investigation into melting sea and land ice.

  • Students use real satellite data to determine 1) where the greatest concentrations of aerosols are located during the course of a year in the tropical Atlantic region and 2) their source of origin. This is an inquiry-style lesson where students pull ...

  • This long classroom activity introduces students to a climate modeling software. Students visualize how temperature and snow coverage might change over the next 100 years. They run a 'climate simulation' to establish a baseline for comparison, do a ...

  • This teaching activity addresses regional variability as predicted in climate change models for the next century. Using real climatological data from climate models, students will obtain annual predictions for minimum temperature, maximum temperature...

  • Data-centric activity where students explore the connections between an observable change in the cryosphere and its potential impact in the hydrosphere and atmosphere. Students analyze the melt extents on the Greenland ice sheet from 1992-2003. Stu...

  • Students explore the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 40 years with an interactive online model. They use the model and observations to estimate present emission rates and emission growth rates. The model is then used to estimate ...

  • This is a teaching activity in which students learn about the connection between CO2 emissions, CO2 concentration, and average global temperatures. Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between these and learn about cli...

  • This activity uses geophysical and geochemical data to determine climate in Central America during the recent past and to explore the link between climate (wet periods and drought) and population growth/demise among the Maya. Students use ocean drill...

  • This multi-week project begins with a measurement of baseline consumptive behavior followed by three weeks of working to reduce the use of water, energy, high-impact foods, and other materials. The assignment uses an Excel spreadsheet that calculates...

  • This teaching activity addresses environmental stresses on corals. Students assess coral bleaching using water temperature data from the NOAA National Data Buoy Center. Students learn about the habitat of corals, the stresses on coral populations, an...

  • This activity engages students in a role play to negotiate an agreement between the United States and China about climate change policies. Students use given background material or can do their own additional research to present their assigned stakeh...

  • In this exercise learners use statistics (T-test using Excel) to analyze an authentic dataset from Lake Mendota in Madison, WI that spans the last 150 years to explore ice on/ice off dates. In addition, students are asked to investigate the IPCC Like...

  • Learners research the effects of melting sea ice in the Bering Sea Ecosystem. They create research proposals to earn a place on the scientific research vessel Healy and present their findings and proposals to a Research Board committee.

  • In this role-playing activity, learners are presented with a scenario in which they determine whether the Gulf Stream is responsible for keeping northern Europe warm. They must also address the potential future of the Gulf Stream if polar ice were to...

  • This Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter is a detailed computer-based exploration in which students learn how various climatic conditions impact the formations of sediment layers on the ocean floor. They analyze sediment core data from the Ross Ice Sh...

  • In this activity, students use Google Earth and team up with fictional students in Chersky, Russia to investigate possible causes of thawing permafrost in Siberia and other Arctic regions. Students explore the nature of permafrost and what the effect...

  • In this activity, students download historic temperature datasets and then graph and compare with different locations. As an extension, students can download and examine data sets for other sites to compare the variability of changes at different dis...

  • In this activity, students investigate how scientists monitor changes in Earth's glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets. The activity is linked to 2009 PBS Nova program entitled Extreme Ice.

  • In this activity learners investigate the link between ocean temperatures and hurricane intensity, analyze instrumental and historical data, and explore possible future changes.

  • This teaching activity is an introduction to how ice cores from the cryosphere are used as indicators and record-keepers of climate change as well as how climate change will affect the cryosphere.

  • In this activity, students use Google Earth and information from several websites to investigate some of the consequences of climate change in polar regions, including the shrinking of the ice cap at the North Pole, disintegration of ice shelves, mel...

  • This lesson plan has students working in small groups to research the Mountain Pine Beetle in Colorado and other inter-mountain Western states. Students identify the factors that control pine beetle population and research how warmer winters and decr...

  • This Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter uses ArcGIS and climate data from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Climate Change Scenarios GIS Data Portal to help users learn the basics of GIS-based climate modeling. The five-part exercis...

  • This activity with a lab report instructs students to solve and plot 160,000 years' worth of ice core data from the Vostok ice core using Excel or similar spreadsheets to analyze data. Students learn about ice cores and what they can tell us about p...

  • In this activity, students will use oxygen isotope values of two species of modern coral to reconstruct ambient water temperature over a four-year period. They use Microsoft Excel, or similar application, to create a spreadsheet of temperature values...

  • This video highlights research conducted at Woods Hole on how heat absorbed by the ocean and changes of ocean chemistry from human activities could lead to a tipping point for marine life and ecosystems. Includes ice bath experiment that models the t...

  • This graph, based on key ice core data sets and recent monitoring programs, shows the variations in concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere during the last 400,000 years.

  • This video production is a part of a four-panel report from the National Academies' America's Climate Choices project. The video maps out the realm of our accumulated knowledge regarding climate change and charts a path forward, urging that research ...

  • This activity includes an assessment, analysis, and action tool that can be used by classrooms to promote understanding of how the complex current issues of energy, pollution, supply, and consumption are not just global but also local issues.

  • These flow charts show carbon dioxide emissions for each state, the District of Columbia and the entire United States. Emissions are distinguished by energy source and end use.

  • In this activity, students construct a Global Warming Wheel Card, a hand-held tool that they can use to estimate their household's emissions of carbon dioxide and learn how they can reduce them. One side of the wheel illustrates how much carbon diox...

  • This video montage of spectacular NASA satellite images set to music shows different types of ice and ice features as well as descriptions of satellite-based measurements of ice cover. Text captioning describes how global ice cover is changing, and ...

  • This NASA video discusses the impacts of the sun's energy, Earth's reflectance, and greenhouse gases on the Earth System.

  • This video focuses on the conifer forest in Alaska to explore the carbon cycle and how the forest responds to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Topics addressed in the video include wildfires, reflectivity, and the role of permafrost in the global c...

  • This video segment describes climate data collection from Greenland ice cores that indicate Earth's climate can change abruptly over a single decade rather than over thousands of years. The narrator describes how Earth has undergone dramatic climate ...

  • This video is narrated by climate scientist Richard Alley. It examines studies US Air Force conducted over 50 years ago on the warming effects of CO2 in the atmosphere and how that could impact missile warfare. The video then focuses on the Franz Jos...

  • This NOAA visualization on YouTube shows the seasonal variations in sea surface temperatures and ice cover from 1985 to 2007. The visualization is based on data collected by NOAA polar-orbiting satellites. El Niño and La Niña are easily identified,...

  • This Flash-based simulation explores the relationship between carbon emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide using two main displays: (1) graphs that show the level of human-generated CO2 emissions, CO2 removals, and the level of CO2 in the atmosphe...

  • In this video, a team of paleontologists, paleobotanists, soil scientists, and other researchers take to the field in Wyoming's Bighorn Basin to document how the climate, plants, and animals there changed during the Paleocene- Eocene Thermal Maximum ...

  • C-ROADS is a simplified version of a climate simulator. Its primary purpose is to help users understand the long-term climate effects (CO2 concentrations, global temperature, sea level rise) of various customized actions to reduce fossil fuel CO2 em...

  • This NASA animation of the Five-Year Average Global Temperature Anomalies from 1881 to 2009 shows how temperature anomalies have varied in the last 130 years. The color-coded map displays a long-term progression of changing global surface temperature...

  • This is a figure from the 2007 IPCC Assessment Report 4 on atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide over the last 10,000 years (large panels) and since 1750 (inset panels).

  • This video features changes in the land, sea, and animals that are being observed by the residents of Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories, Canada — many of whom hunt, trap, and fish—because of their long-standing and intimate connection with the...

  • This interactive animation focuses on the carbon cycle and includes embedded videos and captioned images to provide greater clarification and detail of the cycle than would be available by a single static visual alone.

  • This set of animations and interactive simulations from the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University helps students develop an understanding of models used to understand the Earth system. Students consider the types of data that need to be...

  • This NASA video explores the relationship between climate and agriculture. The video discusses the variability of climate impacts in different regions, as well as the effects of population growth and higher demands for food in areas that already str...

  • The Climate Momentum Simulation allows users to quickly compare the resulting sea level rise, temperature change, atmospheric CO2, and global CO2 emissions from six different policy options projected out to 2100.

  • This interactive visualization adapted from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey illustrates the concept of albedo, which is the measure of how much solar radiation is reflected from Earth's surface.

  • In this activity, students research various topics about ocean health, e.g. overfishing, habitat destruction, invasive species, climate change, pollution, and ocean acidification. An optional extension activity has them creating an aquatic biosphere ...

  • One of a suite of online climate interactive simulations, this Greenhouse Gas Simulator uses the bathtub model to demonstrate how atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will continue to rise unless they are lowered to match the amount of CO2 that can be r...

  • In this activity about climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula, learners investigate environmental changes in the living and nonliving resources of Antarctic peninsula and the impact of these changes on Adélie penguin communities. The activity str...

  • With this simulation from the NASA Climate website, learners explore different examples of how ice is melting due to climate change in four places where large quantities of ice are found. The photo comparisons, graphs, animations, and especially the ...

  • This activity addresses climate change impacts that affect all states that are part of the Colorado River Basin and are dependent on its water. Students examine available data, the possible consequences of changes to various user groups, and suggest ...

  • This simulation allows the user to project CO2 sources and sinks by adjusting the points on a graph and then running the simulation to see projections for the impact on atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures.

  • This well-designed experiment compares CO2 impacts on salt water and fresh water. In a short demonstration, students examine how distilled water (i.e., pure water without any dissolved ions or compounds) and seawater are affected differently by incre...

  • This is a National Geographic short video that briefly describes how succulent plants in the South African Karoo biome are dying off due to changes in climate.

  • A video from the Extreme Ice Survey in which Dr. Tad Pfeffer and photographer Jim Balog discuss the dynamics of the Columbia glacier's retreat in recent years through this time-lapse movie. Key point: glacier size is being reduced not just by glacial...

  • This video provides an overview of how computer models work. It explains the process of data assimilation, which is necessary to ensure that models are tied to reality. The video includes a discussion of weather models using the Goddard Earth Observi...

  • In this activity, students use a spreadsheet to calculate the net carbon sequestration in a set of trees; they will utilize an allometric approach based upon parameters measured on the individual trees. They determine the species of trees in the set,...

  • This activity explores the urban heat island effect. Students access student-collected surface temperature data provided through the GLOBE program and analyze the data with My World GIS.

  • This activity offers an introduction to working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) by using field data on the Urban Heat Island Effect that was collected by students. The field data is entered in the GIS, displayed in a map, and analyzed.

  • The figure summarizes some of the key variations amongst the six illustrative scenarios used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in considering possible future emissions of greenhouse gases during the 21st century.

  • This is an interactive map that illustrates the scale of potential flooding in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida due to projected sea level rise. It is a collaborative project of NOAA Sea Grant Consortium and the US Geological Survey. It is a pilot ...

  • This National Weather Service interactive visualization includes outlook maps for different types weather predictions. The map includes temperature and precipitation predictions for up to 3 months out, as well as predictions for tropical hazards, wea...

  • This activity introduces students to visualization capabilities available through NASA's Earth Observatory, global map collection, NASA NEO and ImageJ. Using these tools, students build several animations of satellite data that illustrate carbon path...

  • In this activity, students use Google Earth to explore global temperature changes during a recent 50 - 58 year period. They also explore, analyze, and interpret climate patterns of 13 different cities, and analyze differences between weather and clim...

  • This interactive contains four animated slides that introduce the greenhouse effect. An additional animation offers to 'explore more'.

  • This poster, viewable online, highlights some of the impacts of a global-average temperature rise of 4 degrees C above the pre-industrial age climate.

  • This is a video overview of the history of climate science, with the goal of debunking the idea that in the 1970s, climate scientists were predicting global cooling.

  • This is an interactive map of California and the Sierra Nevada mountains, showing how the amount of water stored in the snowpack will vary under different climate scenarios. The tool shows observations and projections from 1950 to 2090, and uses low ...

  • This interactive map allows students to experiment with decadal average temperature projections. Overall temperatures are expected to rise throughout the century and this tool demonstrates those projected measurements.

  • This interactive visualization provides a clear, well-documented snapshot of current and projected values of several climate variables for local areas in California. The climate variables include observed and projected temperatures, projected snowpa...

  • Set of annotated graphs indicating sea level change observed and projected (projections from IPCC 2001).

  • This gallery of ten temperature graphs shows global temperatures on different timescales from decades (recently measured temperatures) to centuries (reconstructed) to millions of years (modeled from ice cores).

  • This video describes how the normal thousands-of-years-long balance of new ice creation and melting due to ocean currents has been disrupted recently by warmer ocean currents. As a result, glacier tongues that overhang the interface between ice and ...

  • This audio slideshow examines the changes in the ecosystem that will occur to the Arctic due to increasing temperatures and disappearing sea ice.

  • This animated visualization represents a time history of atmospheric carbon dioxide in parts per million (ppm) from 1979 to 2016, and then back in time to 800,000 years before the present.

  • This is an interactive table with a comprehensive list of 29 greenhouse gases, their molecular structures, a chart showing a time series of their atmospheric concentrations (at several sampling sites), their global warming potential (GWP) and their ...

  • In this video a scientist explains how DNA extracted from ancient tree remains provides insights about how trees/plants have adapted, over time, to changes in CO2 in the atmosphere. Her lab research investigates changes in plant genotypes under expe...

  • This narrated slide show gives a brief overview of coral biology and how coral reefs are in danger from pollution, ocean temperature change, ocean acidification, and climate change. In addition, scientists discuss how taking cores from corals yields...

  • This is a static visualization, referenced from a UNEP rapid response assessment report entitled In Dead Water, depicting the estimated contributions to sea-level rise from 1993 - 2003.

  • This is a multi-faceted activity that offers students a variety of opportunities to learn about permafrost and the role of methane in thawing permafrost.

  • In this video, students see how data from the ice core record is used to help scientists predict the future of our climate. Video features ice cores extracted from the WAIS Divide, a research station on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  • This video segment demonstrates carbon dioxide's role in the greenhouse effect and explains how increasing concentrations of C02 in the atmosphere may be contributing to global warming. Video includes an unusual demonstration of C02's heat-absorbing ...

  • In this video, adapted from KUAC-TV and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, viewers learn how one-celled organisms in permafrost may be contributing to greenhouse gas levels and global warming.

  • This 3-part interactive and virtual lab activity examines the life cycle of the sea urchin, and how the increasing acidity of the ocean affects their larval development.

  • This is an interactive website that provides descriptive information and data related to ten key climate indicators. These climate indicators and related resources show global patterns and data that are intuitive and compelling teaching tools.

  • This in-depth interactive slideshow about how climate models work is embedded with a lot of background information. It also describes some of the projected climate change impacts to key sectors such as water, ecosystems, food, coasts, health. (scroll...

  • This series of visualizations show the annual Arctic sea ice minimum from 1979 to 2015. The decrease in Arctic sea ice over time is shown in an animation and a graph plotted simultaneously, but can be parsed so that the change in sea ice area can be ...

  • This interactive exposes students to Earth's atmospheric gases of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and ozone. As the user manipulates the interactive to increase or decrease the concentration of each gas, explanations and images are provided that explain and ...

  • This web page from the National Snow and Ice Data Center contains two related visualizations and supporting information about them. The first visualization gives an estimate of the percent contribution to sea level change since the 1990s from three ...

  • This narrated slideshow describes the impact of sea level rise on Tuvalu, one of the low-lying island nations in the South Pacific. As the frequency and intensity of floods and cyclones increases, the island is shrinking and saltwater intrusion is a...

  • In this interactive, students explore, at their own pace, how global climate change may affect health issues. Issues include airborne diseases, developmental disorders, mental health disorders, vector-borne diseases and waterborne diseases.

  • This interactive visualization allows users to compare projections of Wisconsin's average annual temperature with the actual changes of the last five decades. Text on the web page encourages students to think about the challenges Wisconsin could fac...

  • This series of five activities about ocean acidification incorporates real data from NOAA. The activities are organized as a pathway, with five levels increasing in sophistication, and different data-based inquiry activities.

  • This is a series of 5 guided-inquiry activities that examine data and models that climate scientists use to attempt to answer the question of Earth's future climate.

  • In this activity, students conduct a life cycle assessment of energy used and produced in ethanol production, and a life cycle assessment of carbon dioxide used and produced in ethanol production.

  • This video shows where and how ice cores are extracted from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The cores are cut, packaged, flown to the ice core storage facility in Denver, further sliced into samples, and shipped to labs all over the world where scienti...

  • This interactive map allows the user to explore projected alterations of land surfaces in coastal communities, based on different scenarios of sea level changes over time.

  • This short activity provides a way to improve understanding of a frequently-published diagram of global carbon pools and fluxes. Students create a scaled 3-D visual of carbon reservoirs and the movement of carbon between reservoirs.

  • This animation depicts global surface warming as simulated by NCAR's Community Climate System Model (CCSM) Version 3. It shows the temperature anomalies relative to the end of the 19th century, both over the entire globe and as a global average. The ...

  • In this lesson, students examine and interpret varied observational datasets and are asked to determine whether the data supports or does not support the statement: climate change is occurring in Colorado.

  • This interactive visualization from the NASA Earth Observatory website compares Arctic sea ice minimum extent from 1984 to that of 2012.

  • In this activity, students review techniques used by scientists as they analyze a 50-year temperature time series dataset. The exercise helps students understand that data typically has considerable variability from year to year and to predict trend...

  • In this activity, students investigate the shifting of three penguin communities in response to climate change.

  • In this activity, students explore how the timing of color change and leaf drop of New England's deciduous trees is changing.

  • In this lab activity, students use brine shrimp as a proxy for krill to study how environmental factors impact behavioral responses of krill in the unique environment of Antarctica.

  • This is the first of nine lessons in the Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change website. This lesson is an introduction to Earth's climate and covers key principles regarding Earth's unique climate, atmosphere, and regional and t...

  • This is the seventh of nine lessons in the 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change' website. This lesson addresses climate feedback loops and how these loops help drive and regulate Earth's unique climate system.

  • This video is the first of a three-video series from the Sea Change project. It features the field work of scientists from the US and Australia looking for evidence of sea level rise during the Pliocene era when Earth was (on average) about 2 to 3 de...

  • This is lesson five of a 9-lesson module. Activity explores the effects of climate change on different parts of the Earth system and on human well-being: polar regions, coral reefs, disease vectors, extreme weather, and biodiversity.

  • This video is a segment from the Switch Energy Project focusing on energy security. Switch Energy Project is a multi-pronged effort designed to build a balanced national understanding of energy.

  • This is the ninth and final lesson in a series of lessons about climate change. This lesson focuses on the various activities that humans can do to mitigate the effects of climate change. This includes information on current and predicted CO2 emissi...

  • This lesson covers different aspects of the major greenhouse gases - water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and CFCs - including some of the ways in which human activities are affecting the atmospheric concentrations of these key gree...

  • This video is simple in its appearance, but it contains a wealth of relevant information about global climate models.

  • In this short video, host Dr. Ryan interviews graduate student Amy Steiker at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research about her research, using isotopes of nitrous oxide, connecting human activity to greenhouse gas emissions.

  • This video features research conducted at University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, which studies isotopes of hydrogen trapped in ice cores to understand climate changes in the past.

  • For this lesson, the guiding Concept Question is: What is climate change and how does climate relate to greenhouse gas concentrations over time? This activity is the second lesson in a nine-lesson module 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of...

  • This video is the second of a three-video series in the Sea Change project, which follows the work of Dr. Maureen Raymo, paleogeologist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who travels with fellow researchers to Australia in sea...

  • This activity covers the role that the oceans may play in climate change and how climate change may affect the oceans. It is lesson 8 in a nine-lesson module Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

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    This interactive addresses the question if we can reduce CO2 emissions by 20% of 1990 levels and help avoid dangerous climate change? Users of this interactive can manipulate changes to various sources and uses (supply and demand) of energy with the ...

  • In this 3-part lab activity, students investigate how carbon moves through the global carbon cycle and study the effects of specific feedback loops on the carbon cycle.

  • In this activity, students learn about the energy sources used by their local utility provider to generate electricity, and work in small groups to evaluate the sustainability of either a renewable or non-renewable energy source used to generate elec...

  • This video follows Bermuda scientists into the field as they collect data that documents a warming trend in ocean temperatures. BIOS Director Tony Knapp discusses some of the impact of warming temperatures on sea levels, storms, and marine ecosystems...

  • This image depicts a representative subset of the atmospheric processes related to aerosol lifecycles, cloud lifecycles, and aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions that must be understood to improve future climate predictions.

  • This interactive tool allows viewers to explore, by county, the areas of California threatened by a rise in sea level through this century.

  • This interactive visualization depicts sea surface temperatures (SST) and SST anomalies from 1885 to 2007. Learn all about SST and why SST data are highly valuable to ocean and atmospheric scientists. Understand the difference between what actual SST...

  • This video discusses how methane digesters turn waste from dairy cows, food garbage, and other organic matter into usable gases and other fuels.

  • This video explains how scientists construct computer-generated climate models to forecast weather, understand climate, and project climate change. It discusses how different types of climate models can be used and how scientists use computers to b...

  • This lesson sequence guides students to learn about the geography and the unique characteristics of the Arctic, including vegetation, and people who live there. Students use Google Earth to explore the Arctic and learn about meteorological observatio...

  • This video explores what scientists know about how changes in global climate and increasing temperatures affect different extreme weather events.

  • This series of four animations shows how some of the key indicators of climate change (average global temperature, sea level, sea ice extent, carbon emissions) have changed in Earth's recent history.

  • This video features a number of different climate scientists describing the effects of the increasing amount of carbon dioxide on global climate and proposing a series of solutions to mitigate these effects. Video addresses health problems and other ...

  • This video considers the current estimates of sea level rise as possibly too conservative and discusses more recent data on ice melt rates coming from Antarctica and Greenland, showing rates of melt at up to 5 times as rapid. Scientists discuss what ...

  • In this video scientists discuss possible rates of sea level rise, storms and resulting damage, rising temperatures and melting ice, and their collective effects on ecosystems.

  • In this activity, students use maps and data to learn about where and how hurricanes form and possible correlations with climate change affecting their strength.

  • This interactive/applet allows the user to explore the potential increase in carbon emissions over the next 50 years, subject to modifications made by the user in various technologies that impact carbon output. Part of the Visualizing and Understandi...

  • This monthly bulletin and animation provides regular and reliable visualizations of world weather and climate events of the previous month using NOAA data. Archives are available from October 2011 to present.

  • Global Forest Watch is an interactive, online forest monitoring and alert system that provides users globally with the information they need to better manage and conserve forest landscapes.

  • The Greenland 2014: Follow the Water video is about Greenland's ice sheet, accompanied by computer models of the same, to show how the ice is melting, where the meltwater is going, and what it is doing both on the surface and beneath the ice.

  • Two short, narrated animations about carbon dioxide and Earth's temperature are presented on this webpage. The first animation shows the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, human carbon emissions, and global temperature rise of the past 1,000 years; the ...

  • This narrated animation displays three separate graphs of carbon emissions by humans, atmospheric concentrations of CO2, and average global temperature as it has changed over the last 1000 years. The final slide overlays the three graphs to show how...

  • In this activity, students investigate soil erosion and how a changing climate could influence erosion rates in agricultural areas. This activity is part of a larger InTeGrate module called Growing Concern.

  • This sequence of activities using real-world data to explain the importance of coral reefs and the relationship of coral reef health to the surrounding environment. Unit includes five activities.

  • This resource is a website that is a self-contained, multi-part introduction to how climate models work. The materials include videos and animations about understanding, constructing and applying climate models.

  • This is a multi-media teaching tool to learn about climate change. The tool is comprised of stills, video clips, graphic representations, and explanatory text about climate science. Acclaimed photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice team put this...

  • In this short video, atmospheric scientist Scott Denning gives a candid and entertaining explanation of how greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere warm our planet.

  • In this 6-part activity, students learn about climate change during the Cenozoic and the abrupt changes at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary (65.5 million years ago), the Eocene/Oligocene boundary (33.9 million years ago), and the Paleocene/Eocene bo...

  • This visualization is an animation showing the distribution of black carbon and sulfate aerosols in the Earth's atmosphere from 01/31/2007 to 02/04/2007 and clearly shows larger amounts of aerosols and black carbon in the atmosphere above heavily pop...

  • This 3-activity sequence addresses the question: "To what extent should coastal communities build or rebuild?" The activity uses social science and geoscience data to prepare an evidence-based response to th...

  • This is a multi-step activity that helps students measure, investigate, and understand the increase in atmospheric CO2 and the utility of carbon offsets. It also enables students to understand that carbon offsets, through reforestation, are not suffi...

  • In this activity, students assess individual and national opinions on climate change and explore strategies that communities are employing to adapt to aspects of climate change already affecting them in addition to those likely to affect them in the ...

  • In this activity, students explore the web-based U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Atlas to learn about projected climate changes in their state and how suitable habitat for tree and bird species is projected to change by 2100.

  • Four secondary lessons that accompany the documentary film, Ocean Frontiers. Part 1 of a 3-part set for the film series.

  • Four secondary lessons that accompany the documentary film, Ocean Frontiers III. Part 3 of a 3-part set for the series.

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.