Introduction to Global Warming
- Grade level: Middle School, High School
- Subject Area: Science
Students gather information about global warming and climate changes in preparation for future lessons on the Greenhouse Effect. During this lesson, students will read about global warming using printed and on-line resources. Students should conclude this lesson with a grasp of the issues and concerns of how global warming might affect life on this planet.
- Learn about global warming, evidence for global warming, and climate changes.
- Consider what might constitute sufficient evidence of global warming.
- Learn what impact global warming might have on our lives.
- Gain experience in researching using the Internet.
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 dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software 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: Medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem) or High-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
Students work alone or in small groups and research global warming and climate changes. Students can use printed or on-line resources (see Internet Resources below) to learn about global warming, changes in the earth's climate over time, atmospheric models that predict future changes, terminology, and possible impacts of global warming on the earth.
- Students visit the Websites in the Internet Resources section and study global warming. For example, visiting the "Index to Climate Change Fact Sheets" Website, students read about possible causes of climate change, impact of climate change, and international response to climate change.
- As students research global warming, they should try to answer three questions:
- What evidence is there that the earth is actually warming up?
- What might be causing any global warming?
- What effect might global warming have on the earth's inhabitants?
- A good place for students to begin is the "Global Warming Terminology" Website. Here they will find definitions of all the terms used in the debate on global warming.
- Another excellent Website is the "NOAA Global Warming Update", which includes graphs, text, and models of global climate change developed by scientists at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).
- Teachers may want to visit the "GCRIO" Website (see Internet Resources for Teachers below) prior to beginning this unit or lesson to gather additional printed materials for studying global warming.
Internet Resources for Students
- An Update on Global Warming
At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- Climate Observations Substantiate Global Warming Models [http://pubs.acs.org/hotartcl/cenear/951127/pg1.html]
An article in the Chemical and Engineering News, November 27, 1995, on global warming models.
- FAQs about Global Warming and Climate Change
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on climate change and global warming at Greenpeace.
- Global Warming
Information on global warming at the World Game Institute.
- Global Warming Resources
An extensive list of resources on global warming at the CoVis Website.
- Global Warming Terminology
A list of terms and definitions of global warming.
- Index to Climate Change Fact Sheets
Links to over 90 texts on global climate changes.
- NASA Facts: Global Warming, Global Change/Climate Change [http://spso.gsfc.nasa.gov/NASA_FACTS/global/gw.html]
A NASA paper on global warming.
- Sierra Club Global Warming News
Resources on global warming at the Sierra Club Website.
- The sea ice in the Arctic is melting, is this a sign of global warming? [http://www.nrsc.no:8001/Pressreleases/fingerprint.html]
A press release from the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center.
- World Population Clock
The current world population.
Internet Resources for Teachers
- The Earth Observing System Educators' Visual Materials
A series of materials on earth observation for teachers.
- Educational Global Change Websites
Websites with educational materials about earth science and global change.
- GCRIO Educational Resources
"On this page, the Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO) provides links to Internet accessible global change instructional materials. These on-line materials include activities for students, lesson plans, classroom resources for teachers, and pointers to other global environmental change educational resources."
- Resources for teaching about global warming
Teaching resources at the Global Warming Resources Website.
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