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Science of Climate for High School

A collection of resources for high school students to learn about the life science aspects of the climate and climate change.

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2014 National Climate Assessment
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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The National Climate Assessment assesses the science of climate change and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century. It documents climate change related impacts and responses for various sectors and regions, with the goal of better informing public and private decision-making at all levels.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
United States Global Change Research Program
Date Added:
01/01/2014
Adapting to climate change
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This video uses Bangladesh as a case study by describing climate change adaptation strategies being implemented in Bangladeshi communities as well as in other countries.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
The Economist
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Beetle Outbreaks and Climate Change
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This interactive shows the extent of the killing of lodgepole pine trees in western Canada. The spread of pine beetle throughout British Columbia has devastated the lodgepole pine forests there. This animation shows the spread of the beetle and the increasing numbers of trees affected from 1999-2008 and predicts the spread up until 2015.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
American Museum of Natural History
Date Added:
10/27/2014
Bending the Curve: Mitigating Climate Change
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Educational Use
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The goal of this unit is for students to gain an awareness of several potential ways to mitigate climate change. Many climate solutions exist, are in use, and can be expanded in scale. Students will examine solutions from Bending the Curve, explore carbon sequestration by trees, coastal wetland restoration, and food waste reduction in more detail. They will propose three (3) realistic solutions that could happen at an individual, school, or community scale that would assist in mitigating climate change.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
U.C. San Diego
Provider Set:
Climate Champions
Date Added:
04/27/2022
The Carbon Cycle and its Role in Climate Change
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In this activity, students use a physical model to learn the basics of photosynthesis and respiration within the carbon cycle.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
United States Global Research Program
Date Added:
11/07/2012
Climate Change Causes Loss of Genetic Diversity
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If you'd visited Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park 100 years ago, you probably would have encountered the alpine chipmunk, Tamias alpinus. Today, however, park visitors will have to hike up a nearby mountain to see one of these critters. That's because this species is sensitive to temperature and over the last hundred years of global climate change, Yosemite has warmed by about 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature increased, the chipmunks retreated to higher and higher elevations where it was cooler. Today, they occupy a fraction of their original range. If climate change continues, they could be squeezed right off the tops of their mountains and out of existence.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
University of California Museum of Paleontology
Provider Set:
Understanding Evolution
Date Added:
04/01/2012
Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity
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This video documents the effects of increasing global temperatures on biodiversity (changes in distribution, range, and numbers) and human populations. Adaptations to climate change are also outlined.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Convention on Biological Diversity
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Climate Change Indicators: US and Global Temperature
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This resource is part of a collection of visualizations that illustrate observed changes in temperature, precipitation, storms, floods, and droughts. This resource focuses on US and Global temperature. Rising global average temperature is associated with widespread changes in weather patterns. Scientific studies indicate that extreme weather events such as heat waves and large storms are likely to become more frequent or more intense with human-induced climate change. The larger collection includes climate change indicators within the oceans, snow and ice, and other ecosystems and the effects on humans and our society.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Environmental Protection Agency
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Coping With Climate Change: Green Roofs of Chicago
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A set of eight photographs compiled into a series of slides explain how urban areas are facing challenges in keeping both their infrastructure and their residents cool as global temperatures rise. Chicago is tackling that problem with a green design makeover. This report is part of PBS's Coping with Climate Change series and could challenge students to consider engineering designs to help their own cities be greener.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Newshour
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Dendrochronology - Trees: Recorders of Climate Change
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In this activity, students are introduced to tree rings by examining a cross section of a tree, also known as a 'tree cookie.' They discover how tree age can be determined by studying the rings and how ring thickness can be used to deduce times of optimal growing conditions. Next, they investigate simulated tree rings applying the scientific method to explore how climatic conditions varied over time.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
NCAR - National Center for Atmospheric Research
Date Added:
06/19/2012
The Ecology of Climate Change
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating
3.0 stars

This video focuses on the conifer forest in Alaska to explore the carbon cycle and how the forest responds to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Topics addressed in the video include wildfires, reflectivity, and the role of permafrost in the global carbon cycle.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
American Museum of Natural History
Date Added:
06/19/2012
Energy and the Environment
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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0.0 stars

Our world runs on energy - without it, things come to a screeching halt, as the recent hurricanes have shown. Ever stop to wonder what our energy future is? What are our options for energy, and what are the associated economic and climatic implications? In \Energy and the Environment\" we explore these questions, which together represent one of the great challenges of our time - providing energy for high quality of life and economic growth while avoiding dangerous climate change. This course takes an optimistic view of our prospects, and we'll see how shifting to renewable energy can lead to a viable future.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Atmospheric Science
Geology
Physics
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Author:
Richard Alley
Date Added:
10/07/2019
Environmental studies: Climate Change
Only Sharing Permitted
CC BY-NC-ND
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TED Studies, created in collaboration with Wiley, are curated video collections — supplemented by rich educational materials — for students, educators and self-guided learners. In Climate Change, speakers give talks that boldly illuminate the nature and scale of current-day climate science, policy and ethics. They explore the economics and psychology of individual and collective action — or inaction — on climate change in order to assess the costs of our choices and opportunities for change. Relevant areas of interest, study and coursework include: ecology, atmospheric science, oceanography, glaciology, energy development, environmental policy, science in the media, political science, ethics, sociology, behavioral psychology and cultural studies.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Lecture
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
TED
Provider Set:
TED Studies
Author:
Kanmani Venkateswaran
Maxwell Boykoff
Date Added:
01/06/2017
Expecting the Unexpected: Abrupt Climate Change
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In this video scientists discuss possible rates of sea level rise, storms and resulting damage, rising temperatures and melting ice, and their collective effects on ecosystems.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Yale Climate Forum
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Eyewitness Documentary of Changes in the Arctic's Climate
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This video documents the scope of changes in the Arctic, focusing on the impacts of warming and climate change on the indigenous Inuit population.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Smithsonian Institution
Date Added:
08/17/2018
Ocean Warming:  Climate Change & Marine Ecosystem Impacts & Solutions Unit Plan
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Educational Use
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In this unit, students will explore how global climate change impacts marine ecosystems (especially kelp forests and coral reefs) and the survival and migration patterns of species within marine ecosystems. Students will examine how marine resources and fisheries upon which humans depend (especially marginalized and vulnerable human populations) are being affected by ocean warming and what we can learn from Indigenous peoples on how to mitigate the effects of ocean warming. Lastly, students will learn about innovative solutions to addressing the impacts of ocean warming and propose their own solution to the problem.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Oceanography
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
U.C. San Diego
Provider Set:
Climate Champions
Date Added:
04/27/2022
PEI SOLS HS: Regenerative Agriculture (Eastern Washington)
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating
4.0 stars

Students will be learning about the practices of regenerative agriculture and how regenerative agriculture is a solution to climate change. Embedded in the storyline are scientific concepts relating to carbon cycling and soil microbial activity. The storyline culminates with students creating an infographic that is intended for educating the community about regenerative agricultural practices. 

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Author:
Hattie Osborne
Pacific Education Institute
Date Added:
06/15/2020
Sea Level Rise
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Educational Use
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In this unit, students will explore the causes of sea level rise and will examine short and long-term trends using sea level rise data. In addition, they will learn about the impacts to low-lying coastal communities and they will explore mitigation strategies. Finally, students will deepen their understanding of sea level rise by writing arguments focused on impacted communities and possible solutions.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
U.C. San Diego
Provider Set:
Climate Champions
Date Added:
04/27/2022
Soil Biology
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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The online Soil Biology Primer is an introduction to the living component of soil and how it contributes to agricultural productivity and air and water quality. The Primer includes chapters describing the soil food web and its relationship to soil health and chapters about soil bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms.

The online Primer includes all of the text of the printed original, but not all of the images of the soil organisms. The full story of the soil food web is more easily understood with the help of the illustrations in the printed version.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Physical Geography
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Author:
Andrew R. Moldenke
Clive A. Edwards
Elaine R. Ingham
Date Added:
04/22/2022