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Probable Futures


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


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Digital Text
  • Interactive Media
  • Data

Regional Focus

North America, United States, Africa, Asia, Europe

Water: A Tour of Precipitation

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  • This resource evaluates global precipitation maps and explains how regions around the world are experiencing changes in precipitation that make it hard to survive. 
  • Students will learn how climate change is disrupting historical precipitation patterns in regions of Europe, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students can click the "i" icon to learn more about certain terms or concepts.
  • The text does an excellent job of showing how changes in precipitation patterns are affecting people all over the world in different ways.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with England's history of imperialism.


  • Students can listen to the narration of the article to engage more learning styles.
  • World history classes could use this text in a discussion about the modern impacts of historical imperialism and colonialism. Students could consider the following questions:
    • How did climate play a role in England and other Western European countries' ability to seize control in other parts of the world?
    • How are changes in precipitation cycles affecting people in Kinshasa and Punjab differently from people in Iowa and London? Why?
    • Which countries are responsible for the changes in precipitation that have been fueled by climate change?
    • Should the history of imperialism and colonialism factor into today's global response to climate change? If so, how?
  • Students could use the maps of precipitation to see how precipitation patterns are likely to change in Kinshasa, London, Iowa, and Punjab under different global warming scenarios.
  • Science classes can tie this resource into lessons about humidity, dew points, evaporation, condensation, the water cycle, and biomes.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video about more intense hurricanes, this interactive textbook lesson on climate zones and biomes, and this lesson on droughts, floods, and water vapor.
Scientist Notes
This resource explores changes in precipitation due to global warming in selected climatic zones. Students can evaluate the scenarios to gain insights on the likelihood of occurrence and return periods, and also the impacts these changes pose on infrastructure, farming, livelihood security, ecosystem services, etc. This 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-ESS3-5 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.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.12.6-8 Explain how global changes in population distribution patterns affect changes in land use in particular places.
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
      • D2.Geo.12.9-12 Evaluate the consequences of human-made and natural catastrophes on global trade, politics, and human migration.
      • D2.Geo.5.9-12 Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
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