Climate Change.

Effects of Global Warming on the global climate

Two short videos introduce this lesson. David Suzuki gives a simple outline of the process of climate change due to an enhanced greenhouse effect and the second illustrates the complexity of the models which attempt to predict the consequences. The second activity asks students to evaluate a series of scientific claims about climate change using a format based on the scientific method. (ToK link) Having studied these simple starters students are then asked to apply their new skills of evaluation to the consequences of climate change on Arctic ecosystems (or Coral reefs in the 2014+ guide)

Lesson Description

Guiding Questions

  • Which gases are 'greenhouse gases'?
  • Do all these gases have an equal effect?
  • How should a biologist assess claims about climate change?
  • What are the arguments for and against human causes of climate change?

Activity 1 The evidence that human activities cause global warming.

There has been some heated debate about climate change in recent years. What are the arguments? Who's right?

First listen to David Suzuki's explanation. Does it sound convincing?

David Suzuki explains Climate Change from VoVo Productions on Vimeo.

To realise how complex the Earth's climate is, watch this video which discusses some of the complex affects which may change the huge but invisible deep ocean currents.

The Global Conveyer Belt & Climate Change from Kurzgesagt on Vimeo.

Activity 2: Evaluating arguments that human activities are not.

Carry out the evaluations of articles about climate change on the Student worksheet on evaluation of articles about climate change below. Which of the articles are the most convincing?

Activity 3 Threats to Coral Reefs

Research one or two of the articles about the effects of climate change on coral reefs.
 Selection of articles about Coral Reefs and climate change

Make bullet point notes about the effects, and evaluate the articles you have read as in Activity 2.

Teachers notes

There are two main aims for this lesson, to learn how to evaluate scientific research in a systematic way and to understand the predicted effects of climate change and the data supporting it.

This is a nice introduction to the data collection which takes place on Mouna loa in Hawaii.

The learning activities could be done in this sequence:

  1. Introduction using short youtube clips about climate change
  2. Excellent website ProCon - climate change resources on arguments for and against.
  3. More weblinks here:
  4. Equip using the Worksheet of Evaluation of sources, including two on coral reefs.
  5. Rethink the understanding with a web search for Coral / Arctic ecosystems
  6. Students could present their findings to others and debate the strength of ideas. (Assessment potential)

Evaluation of Climate Change Model Answers

Another good resource, but as it is focused on Arctic (from the old guide) I have left it out of the lesson details above.

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