Severe Weather Patterns
Severe Weather Patterns Unit
Global Weather and the Greenhouse Effect
- Grade level: Upper elementary and middle school.
- Subject Area: Science, Language Arts
A whole-class discussion of the possible impact of the Greenhouse
Effect on local and global weather patterns encourages students to consider how
the atmosphere and weather conditions are affected by human actions. This lesson
can also delve into broader issues, such as environmental and toxic waste management, and how students can work within their community to promote greater awareness of
- Discuss in a whole class setting how local weather patterns might effect or be related to global weather and environmental changes.
- Understand the connected nature of our planet, how what happens somewhere on the globe might effect people elsewhere.
- Pursue on their own or in other settings a better understanding of global weather patterns, changes to these patterns, and their possible connection to general warming.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some
assumptions about the hardware
and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the
LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or
activities have a computer
(PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and
monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or
software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but
Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special"
requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above)
and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
Special hardware requirements: none.
Special software requirements: none.
Internet access: none.
Prior to the whole-class discussion, ask students to consider how local weather patterns might be effected by global movements of air, precipitation, and changes in pressure within the atmosphere. Also summarize the global warming hypothesis (the Greenhouse effect) and ask students to think about what might constitute evidence of this phenomeon.
- With the class, discuss students' research on severe weather patterns and the sources of dramatic changes in weather.
- Guide the discussion towards consideration of possible causes for severe weather and how these causes might be identified and tracked.
- Discuss the students' knowledge about the Greenhouse Effect and possible evidence for this in the environment.
- Be sure to talk about the controversy surrounding the Greenhouse Effect, and how this hypothesis is being used to promote political and commercial issues.
- The Greenhouse Effect
A short paper on the Greenhouse Effect at the Division of Atmospheric Research.
- The Greenhouse Effect
by Christopher Smelick
A nice paper on the Greenhouse Effect written by a student.
- Greenhouse Effect Visualizer
An interactive global weather visualizer at Northwestern University.
- The OzoneLayer and the Greenhouse Effect
Another paper on the Greenhouse Effect and the Ozone Layer.
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