Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference (Green Books Guides)

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How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate

Students should use their Grasslands and Climate Change student esheet to go to and read a brief article about this grassland meadow research, More time tells a different story about plants and climate change, Part A and B and answer the corresponding questions.

The answers to these questions can be found on the Plants and Climate Change teacher sheet. They can record their answers to these questions on the Plants and Climate Change student sheet. After reading the article, students should use their esheet again to go to and watch Climate Change Research in California, Part A and Part B , and answer the corresponding questions. In these videos, students will see that scientists aren't just people in lab coats working indoors in a test-tube filled lab.

Students will see people doing research outdoors "in the field," working collaboratively to answer scientific questions. Students also will learn how professional scientists and college students interested in science are involved in fieldwork on the Angelo Reserve. After students finish answering the questions for the article and the video, discuss the article, the video, and responses to the questions. From the article and the video, they should understand the point of the research.

Basically, precipitation increases are predicted for the Angelo Reserve. The researchers added extra water to model the precipitation change forecasts for the Northern California area. They then studied how the grassland reorganized itself after the water additions over a span of five years. This on-going, long-term experiment demonstrates the importance of interacting species in a grassland community. To simulate a portion of the research, students will participate in an inquiry-based science activity.

You should ask the students to explain what they think happened because of the water addition in the Angelo Reserve experiments, as read and seen in the article and videos. You should then have students predict what will happen in their own schoolyard and then test their predictions using the activity. Students can use the Grasslands and Climate Change student sheet to help them conduct the experiment. The amount of guidance provided by you will dictate how the experiment is set up. You can use the Grasslands and Climate Change teacher sheet as one potential way to guide one class of about 30 students through this simulation.

This book is a good introduction to the types of evidence collected by scientists to support the theory of climate change. You might want to have your students focus on climate change research in the tundra pp. After completing the book, return to the ideas generated in the brainstorming session regarding climate change. Discuss their previous ideas and any new ones they might have after reading the book. If preferred, you may use a more formalized reading strategy and K-W-L chart with the book. Once students have completed the experiment, they should reread the short EurekAlert article and compare their experimental results with what the scientists observed in the grassland meadow.

They also should reread pp. Your students should have an idea of how the Queens, New York students' results turned out when they varied water in their experiments. After students have the opportunity to act like a scientist, they can write like a scientist too. Climate change mitigation would lead to disaster There is no consensus We cannot trust unproven computer models Misinformed It was warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum The medieval warm period was just as warm as today Antarctic ice is growing CO2 in the air comes mostly from volcanoes Greenland used to be green The satellites show cooling Natural emissions dwarf human emissions It's the sun, stupid The U.

The null hypothesis says global warming is natural Geological history does not support CO2's importance Climate is always changing Natural emissions dwarf human emissions Mauna Loa is a volcano Global warming is nothing new! The CO2 rise is natural The hockey stick is broken Historically, CO2 never caused temperature change The models don't have clouds Global warming stopped in If we can't understand the past, how can we understand the present?

If aerosols are blocking the sun, the south should warm faster The scientists aren't even sure Antarctic sea ice is increasing Peiser refuted Oreskes Vineland was full of grapes Observations show climate sensitivity is not very high Sea level in the Arctic is falling We are just recovering from the LIA Non Scientific Global warming is a hoax Kyoto is a big effort for almost nothing Why should the U. Hansen has been wrong before Position statements hide debate The scientists aren't even sure Consensus is collusion They predicted global cooling in the s Levels of Sophistication Silly There is no evidence Global warming is a hoax One record year is not global warming Climate change mitigation would lead to disaster Mars and Pluto are warming too Mauna Loa is a volcano Naive One hundred years is not enough Glaciers have always grown and receded Why should the U.

It's cold today in Wagga Wagga CO2 in the air comes mostly from volcanoes We can't even predict the weather next week We can not trust unproven computer models The satellites show cooling Natural emissions dwarf human emissions The models don't have clouds Global warming stopped in It's the sun, stupid If we can't understand the past, how can we understand the present? The scientists aren't even sure Vineland was full of grapes Some sites show cooling Specious The temperature record is simply unreliable Climate scientists dodge the subject of water vapor There is no proof that CO2 is causing global warming Current global warming is just part of a natural cycle It was warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum The medieval warm period was just as warm as today What's wrong with warmer weather?

Kyoto is a big effort for almost nothing CO2 doesn't lead, it lags There is no consensus Antarctic ice is growing Warming is due to the Urban Heat Island effect Greenland used to be green What about mid-century cooling? The null hypothesis says global warming is natural Geological history does not support CO2's importance Climate is always changing Global warming is nothing new! The CO2 rise is natural Historically, CO2 never caused temperature change Hansen has been wrong before Position statements hide debate But the glaciers are not melting If aerosols are blocking the sun, the south should warm faster Antarctic sea ice is increasing Consensus is collusion They predicted global cooling in the s Peiser refuted Oreskes Vineland was full of grapes Scientific Water vapor accounts for almost all of the greenhouse effect Chaotic systems are not predictable The hockey stick is broken Observations show climate sensitivity is not very high Sea level in the Arctic is falling We are just recovering from the LIA.

Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide Objection: Despite what the computer models tell us, there is actually no evidence of significant global warming. Answer: Global warming is not an output of computer models; it is ….

Global Warming 101 - National Geographic

No wonder the levels are so high. Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: The apparent rise of global average temperatures is actually an illusion due to the urbanization of land around weather stations, the Urban Heat Island effect. Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: One hundred and some years of global surface temperatures is not long enough to draw any conclusions from or worry about anyway.

Answer: The reliable instrumental record …. Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: Even the scientists don't know that the climate is changing more than normal and if it's our fault or not. If you read what they write it …. Records are set all the time. One really warm year is not global warming. Answer: This is actually not an unreasonable ….

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate

Glaciers have grown and receded differently in many times and places. Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: The surface temperature record is full of assumptions, corrections, differing equipment and station settings, changing technology, varying altitudes, and more. It is not possible to claim we …. Does this even deserve an answer? If we must Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: Satellite readings, which are much more accurate, show that the earth is in fact cooling. I wonder how long before this one stops coming up?

Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: There was global cooling in the '40s, '50s, and '60s, even while human greenhouse-gas emissions were rising. Clearly, temperature is not being driven by CO2. Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: The Antarctic ice sheets are actually growing, which wouldn't be happening if global warming were real. Answer: There are two distinct problems with this argument. First, any …. Global warming is over. Answer: At the time, was a record high year in both the CRU and ….

But if you look at the studies, most of those for which we have data are growing. Answer: This is simply not …. Sounds like natural fluctuations that balance out in the end. Answer: Overall, …. Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: According to the latest state-of-the-art satellite measurements from over the Arctic, sea levels are falling!

Guess all that ice isn't melting after all. Answer: Yes, a new …. Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide Objection: Taking into account the logarithmic effect of CO2 on temperature, the 35 percent increase we have already seen in CO2 concentrations represents about three-quarters of the total …. A concern of many teachers on matters of climate change is a lack of confidence — both in having the knowledge they need to plan appropriate learning experiences for students and in being able to distinguish between scientific certainties and unproven claims. This is especially the case when so much climate science is based upon the interpretation of trends and complex modeling of the climate system.

When faced with the task of teaching a topic as important but complex as climate change, such feelings can be a real constraint. A key to overcoming this problem is to be found in the certain knowledge that on any subject there is always more information than any one person can grasp. Climate change is a subject on which even specialists have much to learn.

However, it is also a subject upon which much information is readily available as seen by the long list of books and internet sites in the references section of this module. Climate change is also a subject upon which everyone has some knowledge and can contribute to a total understanding. We can help ourselves and our students by establishing mutual respect and a setting for mutual learning by discussing the problems of scientific certainty and uncertainty openly. Such a setting is also an ideal place for assessing the importance of taking precautionary action under conditions of uncertainty.

Activity 4 in Module 4 focused upon the objectives of Education for Sustainable Development. Seven objectives were analysed there. You can analyse the educational advantages of working with students towards this objective in this diamond-ranking exercise. Q2: Identify five other subjects you might teach in Education for Sustainable Development where there are also opportunities to achieve the educational benefits of working with students about uncertainty and precaution.

A quick review of other modules in the Contemporary Issues section of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future might help here. These warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. Source: What is Climate Change? This is a very small amount but it plays a critical role in maintaining the atmospheric balance necessary to all life. Much of the rock, soil, animal, plant and water life on Earth is made up of carbon, very much of it stored for millions of years under the ground or ocean in fossilized form from decayed animal and plant matter.

This is causing average temperatures to rise, which is resulting in more frequent extreme weather events, long-term droughts, melting polar ice caps and glaciers and rising sea-levels. The relationship between rising temperatures and sea-levels over the past plus years may be seen in the following diagrams. Source: Kirby, A.


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The most recent predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are that the average global surface temperature will continue to rise — and could potentially reach 6. At that temperature human society as we understand it would no longer exist. From concentrations of just 0. This could be a reality by if governments are able to agree on cooperative national and international action.

Beyond such a simple overview, there are many complex questions about climate change you might want answered. Listed below are a number of questions commonly addressed to climate scientists. The answers from the IPCC to these questions are quite detailed — probably too detailed for most students. Select five questions that your students have asked you — or might ask you — and write a summary of the answer that you would give to your class. Read the latest scientific updates on the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change published by the Union for Concerned Scientists.

The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC left no doubt that global warming is occurring and that climate change is human-induced. And it is increasingly clear that these rising temperatures are having significant impacts on the world already and that many more are likely. Read about the impacts climate change is already having in different countries around the world.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player. A map launched at the Science Museum in London has been developed using the latest peer-reviewed science from the British Met Office and other leading impact scientists. It shows that the land will heat up more quickly than the sea, and high latitudes, particularly the Arctic, will have larger temperature increases.

However, because we depend upon the physical environment for all the resources we need — water, food, clothing, shelter, manufactured goods, transport, energy, jobs, recreation, etc. The long-term impacts of climate change — such as those in the table — can seem abstract unless they are grounded in case studies of real places and people.

Here we take the Amazon region as an example. Climate scientists predict a significant dieback of the Amazon rainforest by and predict that the area will have larger losses of soil and plant carbon than of any other place on Earth by the end of the 21st century. Read about the predicted impacts of small temperature increases on the rain forests of the Amazon.

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change

Read about the impacts of climate change on the strategies that the Shipibo people of the Peruvian Amazon traditionally use to cope with the severe floods of their tributary of the Amazon. Q4: What advice would you give the governments of the Amazon region about how to minimize the impacts of increased temperatures on the rainforest?

Q5: What advice would you give the Shipibo people about adapting to the changed climatic conditions along the River? Q What options are being explored in your community to try to adapt to these environmental changes? When we were looking at the impacts of climate change in Activity 3 , we saw that the long-term impacts of climate change can seem abstract unless they are grounded in case studies of real places and people.

So, we then conducted a case study of the impacts in the Amazon region as an example. This helped us to see the details, especially when we then examined climate change impacts in our local communities. This helped us to see that climate change is not just a scientific issue — or a political one for governments to solve. Climate change is an ethical issue too because climate disasters hit the poorest people of the world the most. This activity examines the arguments that have been made for this by three international bodies: the Commonwealth Foundation, the World Bank and the Association of Small Island States.

In a speech to the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Kampala, the Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, Mark Collins said that climate change was the most important issue facing the world. Source: Collins, M.

What causes global warming?

The Commonwealth Foundation identified two ethical arguments about climate change:. The World Bank argues that the development implications of climate change for the poorest countries in the world are very significant. This is because developing countries are more vulnerable to the increased impacts of extreme weather events i. For example, climate change is expected to among other things :. Responses to climate change in developed countries may also increase prices for energy, food, and other commodities, making these items more expensive for developing countries. In some cases, the adoption of carbon neutral technologies may need to be accelerated despite the higher commercial costs and risks.

The emerging and yet incomplete cost estimates of additional investments needed in developing countries are likely to cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year for several decades. Needing to find such resources may make achieving the Millennium Development Goals even more difficult in many developing countries.

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Thus, many hard-earned development gains could be lost because of climate change, leaving more people in poverty and possibly pushing still more there also. The poorest communities and countries have contributed least to the problem but will be affected worst. Quote passages in the text to support these concerns. AOSIS is a coalition of small island and low-lying coastal countries that share similar development challenges and concerns about the environment, especially their vulnerability to climate change.

AOSIS would like to be seen as the conscience of the international community on climate policy because of what it sees as the truth and justness of its cause.