The Causes of Climate Change

Lesson Plans for The Causes of Climate Change


1. Causes of Global Climate Change

The atmospheric system, including the natural greenhouse effect and energy balance (incoming shortwave radiation and outgoing longwave radiation)

Changes in the global energy balance, and the role of feedback loops, resulting from:

  • solar radiation variations, including global dimming due to volcanic eruptions
  • terrestrial albedo changes and feedback loops
  • methane gas release and feedback loops

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

The complexity of the dynamic climate system and the spatial interactions of different processes and feedback mechanisms

The Atmospheric System and Climate Variation

This pages provides resources exploring both the atmospheric system and the long and short term factors influencing climate variation. Resources examine the nature of the atmospheric budget and introduce key concepts, such as radiation, greenhouse effect and albedo. Students examine the relationship of climate with carbon and develop a critical awareness of the long term natural factors that lead to climate variation as well the complex patterns of different feedback loops that result from changes to terrestrial land use and loss of ice and permafrost.


The enhanced greenhouse effect and international variations in greenhouse gas sources and emissions, in relation to economic development, globalization and trade

The Enhanced Greenhouse Effect

This page introduces the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect and anthropogenic causes of climate change. It uses a number of focused videos and worksheets activities to allow students to explore the key concepts. It then develops a student investigation and report based on the visually stunning carbon map resource.

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