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Katharine Hayhoe, Global Weirding, PBS


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


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

Resource Type

  • Videos, 10 minutes, 19 seconds, CC

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, USA - South, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas

Southern Great Plains & Southwest | Global Weirding

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  • This video discusses how climate change is impacting the Southern Great Plains and the Southwest in the United States, how climate change will impact these regions in the future, and how the country can respond to the climate crisis with adaptation and mitigation strategies.
  • Students will learn that climate change is causing more extreme weather events in these regions, climate change will cause more extreme heat days in the Southern Great Plains and less snowpack in the Southwest, and the country should lower its greenhouse gas emissions and bolster climate resilience for the sake of current and future generations.
  • Students will learn how climate change influenced Hurricane Harvey, Lake Mead shrinking, atmospheric rivers, sea level rise recorded at the Golden Gate Bridge, and other events.
Teaching Tips


  • This video is thorough, engaging, and filled with excellent animations.
  • This video details the economic impacts of climate change and clearly explains the effects of warmer temperatures on humidity, rainfall, and extreme weather.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to know the following terms: GDP, snowpack, drought, surface reservoir, and precipitation.
  • Students should know what greenhouse gas emissions are and where they come from.


  • Students could watch the video at home to prepare for an in-class discussion on the economic impacts of climate change.
  • This video could be made into a lesson by adding a mix of multiple choice and free-response questions to assess student comprehension.
  • This video could augment a lesson on the impact that climate change has on Earth's systems.
  • Before watching the video, the teacher could ask the class questions about changes they've noticed in their community's climate and discuss their experiences with extreme weather events.
  • This is a great video for a variety of learners, as it describes the concepts without getting too specific or technical, but you could chunk the video or pause periodically for younger learners.
Scientist Notes
This resource underscores the impacts of climate change and extreme weather conditions on agriculture, tourism, water resources and biodiversity, and raises huge concerns about inaction. The accuracy of the data points have been reviewed thoroughly and this resource 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
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • 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.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
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