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Renee Cho


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Computer Science

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus


Attribution Science: Linking Climate Change to Extreme Weather

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  • In this article, the author describes the term "attribution science" in relation to the connections between climate change and intensifying and/or increasing numbers of extreme weather events.
  • The article describes how attribution science consists of using models to attempt to quantify climate change's contribution to an extreme weather event.
Teaching Tips


  • The short article clearly introduces the concept of attribution science and thoroughly explains the methods behind this practice.
  • The explanation of attribution science effectively details the nuances of providing evidence that supports claims but does not necessarily prove a causal relationship.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand the difference between climate and weather, and be familiar with explaining the relationship between two variables.


  • Students can read and annotate the article in pairs and then work together to summarize their understanding of the concept of attribution science.
  • Students can independently research other fields where attribution science is used and then have a discussion about how attribution science can be used as evidence for a claim, and its limitations.
  • Other recommended resources include the e-book Extreme Weather and the Climate Crisis: What you Need to Know and this Table of Solutions to climate change by Project Drawdown.
Scientist Notes
This resource is an article that describes the current state of climate attribution science, which is the ability to attribute a portion of an extreme weather event to human-caused climate change. Examples include hurricanes, floods, and heat waves. The article does a good job of presenting the complexities of attribution science in a clean and jargon-free manner and describes existing challenges and uncertainties well. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
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