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Database Provider


UCAR Center for Science Education


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences, History

Resource Types

  • Ebooks
  • Interactive Media
  • Videos, 1 minute, 53 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 58 seconds
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 40 seconds

Regional Focus


History of Climate Science Research

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  • This historic timeline details the discoveries made related to climate science, beginning with the discovery of gases in 1640.
  • Students will learn about the scientists and discoveries that enabled us to understand climate change and how climate change developed into the global problem it is today. 
Teaching Tips


  • This timeline provides a thorough overview of climate science history.
  • Each section of the timeline is concise, engaging, and includes an image or video. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have prior knowledge of climate change and its causes. 


  • Cross-curricular connections can be made in social studies classes learning about the history of different scientific discoveries, or in language arts classes working on non-fiction reading strategies.
  • This resource lends itself well to a jigsaw activity, where each student is tasked with becoming an expert on one component of the timeline and presenting their learning to the class. 
  • As an extension, have students choose to add one component to the timeline through research or predict a future timeline component. 
Scientist Notes
This is a comprehensive resource that underlines the history of climate science research. It records the level of transformation in climate science studies and how that has helped to shape our understanding on the present and future climate risk. This resource has no scientific misconceptions and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 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.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.15.9-12 Distinguish between long-term causes and triggering events in developing a historical argument.
      • D2.His.7.9-12 Explain how the perspectives of people in the present shape interpretations of the past.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
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