Climate Change is Underway Lesson Plan

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1 Climate Change is Underway Lesson Plan For Teachers: The following is a lesson plan designed to be used with section of the Climate Change material entitled Climate Change is Underway from the After Earth Science website. We recommend that you download and print the student worksheet pages and distribute them for interactive use with the learning tools and animations provided by the web site on this topic. Goal: To understand the facts behind the consensus that global warming is currently underway and the global effects of that warming. Objective: Students will be able to list at least three evidences of global climate change and explain them. Overview: Directions for the exercise are contained in the body of the lesson plan. Students will first gain some related vocabulary. We recommend that you allow students to access the web freely to define these terms, and then conduct a discussion to agree as a class on a definition for each term. Students will next access the web site and use the worksheet to master the material presented on the site. Possible formative assessment for this lesson: 1) List at least three evidences of global climate change and explain them. 2) You just read a letter to the editor that says that this winter was really cold, so global warming must be a hoax. Write a paragraph to the local newspaper that explains the science behind global warming, and which might convince this reader that global warming is not a hoax. Key to student worksheet: (Note that underlined words in key are blanks on student worksheet.) Climate Change Is Underway Objective: Students will be able to list at least three evidences of global climate change and explain them. When scientists want to investigate a question or run an experiment, the first thing they do is learn as much as they can about the subject. This worksheet is designed to help you organize your notes on a very complex subject.

2 To get started, some vocabulary. Define the terms, below: Climate, Scientific Peer Review, Consensus, Feedback Loop Go to the After Earth Science website and find the section on Global Change/Climate Change with the title that matches your worksheet. Answer the questions and fill in the notes below: Climate Change Is Underway: Lesson Plan 1. Read the first paragraphs about the number of science articles on climate change. Why do you think that some people are still debating that climate change is occurring? Sample Answer: accept all reasonable answers 2. Which of the sentences in the first three paragraphs is the most convincing sentence for you that climate change is underway? Sample Answer: Accept all reasonable answers 3. Describe what is shown in the graph entitled Global Surface Temperature Sample Answer: Graph shows gradual rise of about.5 degrees C in global surface temperature from the year 1880 to Average global temperatures, although an important part of the climate change story, are only part of the story, because warming isn t occurring evenly everywhere. In fact, the planet is warming most in places where very few of us experience it, Where do you think the most warming is occurring? View the animation and find out! What did you see? Sample Answer: Accept all reasonable answers 5. Given that the poles are warming more rapidly than equatorial regions, it isn t surprising that polar ice is melting.

3 Look at the next three graphs on Land Ice in Antarctica and Greenland, and Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean. Make a statement about what is happening. Sample Answer: Accept all reasonable answers For each graph, fill in the blanks in the following sentence to write a summary statement about that graph: The graph entitled shows that in the area of,(where in the world is this data from?) between the years and, (look at the x-axis) the amount of ice (that is what the y axis is labeled for all three graphs) is (tell about the direction the line on the graph is trending increasing or decreasing over time). 6. Graph 1 sentence: Sample Answer: The graph entitled Antarctica Mass Variation Since 2002 shows that in the area of Antarctica, between the years 2002 and 2012, the amount of ice has decreased. 7. Graph 2 sentence: Sample Answer: The graph entitled Greenland Mass Variation Since 2002 shows that in the area of Greenland, between the years 2002 and 2011, the amount of ice has decreased. 8. Graph 3 sentence: Sample Answer: The graph entitled Arctic Sea Ice Average September Extent shows that in the area of the Arctic Sea, between the years 1979 and 2012, the amount of ice has decreased. Look at the next visual animation: Arctic Sea Ice Minimum This shows the data as an animation. You can see the land ice of Greenland in this visual, and you can watch an animation of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean from 1979 to Read the sentence that you wrote for Graph 3. Does it still fit? Was the trend that you saw consistent? Why/why not?

4 Sample Answer: Accept all reasonable answers that are properly supported with data from the website/ animation. Now compare the two photos of the Muir Glacier. 10. Write a sentence comparing them. Here is a start for your sentence: In the 1941 photo.. Sample Answer: In the 1941 photo, the snow and ice are right there in the foreground of the photo, but in the 2004 photo taken in the same place, you can see that there is a lake much of the glacier has melted. Explore the site National Snow and Ice Data Center which is linked from the After Earth website. 11. What was your favorite image? What made the biggest impression on you? Sample Answer: Accept all reasonable answers Note for teachers: The video Extreme Ice and the trailer Chasing Ice are both viewable on YouTube. The first shows wonderful science on this topic and explains the topic in a very accessible way. Much of the data on climate change in our website is also presented by this video. 12. As ice has been melting (adding water to the ocean), ocean water has been warming (and expanding as it warms). The result is rising sea level. Look at the graphs of Sea Level. 13. Write a sentence summarizing these graphs. Sample Answer: The two graphs show the rise in sea level. The first shows data from and the second presents data from 1993 to The second graph shows a more rapid rate of change over a shorter period of time. 14. As warming continues, climate scientists worry about what are called positive feedback loops that they fear will make warming happen faster. One feedback loop that is involved in global change involves changes in the way Earth s surface reflects and absorbs solar energy.

5 15. Ice and snow are white, because they reflect most solar energy that hits them. Soil and water are darker, because they absorb some of that energy and transform it into heat. Teacher Note: For a great concrete demonstration of this take two pieces of paper one white and one black. Place a laboratory thermometer in each of two boxes (the box tops of cases of paper reams work well for this). Record the temperature recorded by each thermometer and then cover one thermometer with the black paper and one with the white paper. Set the boxes outside preferably on a colder, SUNNY, day. Let the experiment run for minutes, and then collect and record the temperatures in each box. The paper has either absorbed or reflected heat from the sun. To find out what happens, as ice and snow melt, exposing either land or water beneath them, watch the next data animation on the website. 16. As ice melts, more water is exposed. That water absorbs more energy and warms more rapidly. Faster warming melts ice faster and the feedback accelerates. 17. Write a sentence in your own words to explain how a feedback loop works. OR draw a labeled diagram below: Sample Answer: Accept all reasonable answers

6 Climate Change Is Underway Lesson Plan Objective: Students will be able to list at least three evidences of global climate change and explain them. When scientists want to investigate a question or run an experiment, the first thing they do is learn as much as they can about the subject. This worksheet is designed to help you organize your notes on a very complex subject. To get started, some vocabulary. Define the terms, below: Climate Scientific Peer Review Consensus Feedback Loop Go to the After Earth Science website and find the section on Global Change/Climate Change with the title that matches your worksheet. Answer the questions and fill in the notes below: Climate Change Is Underway: 1. Read the first paragraphs about the number of science articles on climate change. Why do you think that some people are still debating that climate change is occurring? 2. Which of the sentences in the first three paragraphs is the most convincing sentence for you that climate change is underway?

7 3. Describe what is shown in the graph entitled Global Surface Temperature : 4. Average global temperatures, although an important part of the story, are of the story, because isn t occurring evenly everywhere. In fact, the is warming in where very of, Where do you think the most warming is occurring? View the animation and find out! What did you see? 5. Given that the are more than regions, it isn t surprising that is. Look at the next three graphs on Land Ice in Antarctica and Greenland, and Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean. Make a statement about what is happening. For each graph, fill in the blanks in the following sentence to write a summary statement about that graph: The graph entitled shows that in the area of,(where in the world is this data from?) between the years and, (look at the x-axis) the amount of ice (that is what the y axis is labeled for all three graphs) is (tell about the direction the line on the graph is trending increasing or decreasing over time). 6. Graph 1 sentence: 7. Graph 2 sentence: 8. Graph 3 sentence:

8 Look at the next visual animation: Arctic Sea Ice Minimum This shows the data as an animation. You can see the land ice of Greenland in this visual, and you can watch an animation of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean from 1979 to Read the sentence that you wrote for Graph 3. Does it still fit? Was the trend that you saw consistent? Why/why not? Now compare the two photos of the Muir Glacier. 10. Write a sentence comparing them. Here is a start for your sentence: In the 1941 photo.. Explore the site National Snow and Ice Data Center which is linked from the After Earth website. 11. What was your favorite image? What made the biggest impression on you? 12. As ice has been ( to the ), ocean water has been (and as it ). The result is.

9 Look at the graphs of Sea Level. 13. Write a sentence summarizing these graphs. 14. As warming continues, about what are called that they fear will make happen. One feedback loop that is involved in global change involves changes in the way Earth s and. 15. Ice and snow are, because they most that hits them. Soil and water are, because they some of that and it into. To find out what happens, as ice and snow melt, exposing either land or water beneath them, watch the next data animation on the website. 16. As ice, more is. That water more energy and more rapidly. warming ice and the. 17. Write a sentence in your own words to explain how a feedback loop works. OR draw a labeled diagram, below:

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