This interactive activity will get students thinking about carbon emissions, global average temperatures, amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and using climate models to explore solutions.
Students will learn how the climate model works through exploration and discussion, use the model to test different climate scenarios, and share their findings with classmates.
The provided instructions are thorough and easy to follow.
Students will complete this activity with a good understanding of the impact of carbon emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
Materials needed for this activity include computers or tablets, paper, writing utensils, and presentation materials (posters or digital presentation software).
Students should be comfortable reading graphs.
Cross-curricular connections can be made in language arts classes working on public speaking or communicating technical or scientific information and in social studies classes considering the roles of individuals and governments in reducing carbon emissions.
Use the additional sample model runs included in the Teaching Tips section of the resource to extend learning.
Several extension activities and resources are included at the bottom of the resource for additional learning on this important topic.
To extend the lesson for science and math students, have them investigate other climate models, learn about how climate data is gathered, and analyze the solutions to climate change using this interactive table of solutions.
This is a simplified climate model created by UCAR, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which allows students to play around with carbon emissions and see the global warming impact. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and 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.
HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.
Speaking & Listening (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.