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Global Climate Change: Cycle C

Topic(s): No topics assigned.



1). Global temperature change is a gradual and natural process - human activity may have accelerated global change for all systems. Global temperature change is a cyclic phenomenon.

2). The primary causes of the human-induced component of warming are the increased amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases are released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing and agriculture, etc. that lead to an increase in the greenhouse effect.

3). An increase in global temperatures can in turn cause other changes, including a rising sea level and changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation. These changes may increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and tornados. Other consequences include higher or lower agricultural yields, glacial retreat, reduced summer stream flows, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors. Warming is expected to affect the number and magnitude of these events.

4). CO2 excess can be compensated for by an increase in algae, thus increasing the amount of CO2 locked in the ocean floor.


Scenario: For decades the debate was raging: "the planet is warming," "no it isn't." The issue became highly politicized due to the inherent costs in mitigating suspected causes of warming. And when the evidence indicated that the planet was indeed warming, the debate turned to whether or not the warming was part of a natural cycle or human-induced.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report titled: "Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers." The report synthesizes scientific understanding of global warming and makes predictions based on the use of state-of-the art climate models. The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is the most comprehensive assessment of scientific knowledge on climate change since 2007 when the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) was released. It was released in four parts between September 2013 and November 2014.

The IPCC report states that total radiative forcing is positive, and has led to an uptake of energy by the climate system. The largest contribution to total radiative forcing is caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 since 1750.


Author: Bob Myers, IGES
(703) 312-0823



Date: 7/30/2011


Scenario Images

Max Temperature: 1895-2100 - Time Series Animation
U.S. Max Temperature: 1895-2100 - Time Series Animation

Click here to watch the movie

This movie was created from the model output results of one of the two of the most frequently cited climate simulation models - that developed by the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research. Click here to view the model output results created using model results from the Canadian Center for Climate Modelling. Note: Each movie is approximately 9.0 megabytes in size and may take a long time to load, please be patient.



  • Geography
    Geography for Life: National Geography Standards, 1994
      Geography studies the relationships between people, places, and environments by mapping information about them into a spatial context. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
      • How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
      The identities and lives of individuals and people are rooted in particular places and in those human constructs called regions. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • The physical and human characteristics of places
      The physical environment is modified by human activities, largely as a consequence of the ways in which human societies value and use Earth’s natural resources, and human activities are also influenced by Earth’s physical features and processes. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • How human actions modify the physical environment

Individual Assignment
Classroom Application Cycle

This cycle you will develop cooperative activities that engage your students in understanding Earth as a system through analyzing the causes and effects of the event in this module. You also have the option of choosing a Local Event as the focus of your application. Use the resources listed below to develop your ideas. Submit your ideas for your teammates to rate and for your instructor to grade.



  • Review the Individual Classroom Application and Rubric.
  • Create or adapt activities to help your students develop the concepts you have explored in this module. You may choose to do a Local Event Analysis for extra credit this cycle and then base your Classroom Application on it. If you choose to do a local event analysis and then also develop it for your classroom application, you can satisfy this cycle's requirements and receive extra credit.
  • After submitting your own classroom application to the course discussion space, recruit a classmate to rate and make comments on your classroom application. Refer to the Classroom Application Goal and Rubric.

Upload to ESSEA your classroom application with a description of its relevance to students, connection to the curriculum, instructional strategy and assessment methods. Include a reflection on what and how you have learned about Earth System Science and this event as a result of this module. Complete the rubric.
Deadline: Sunday, December 9 2018 11:59 PM (Eastern Time)
Upload Assignments

Earth Exploration Toolbook: Exploring Regional Differences in Climate Change (Cycle C)
Most people understand that significant climate changes are predicted in the next century, but they may not be aware that these changes will likely vary regionally. Using climatological data from the University of New Hampshire's EOS-WEBSTER, users will obtain annual predictions for minimum temperature, maximum temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation for Minnesota and California to explore this regional variability. Data will span the years 2000 through 2100. Users import the data into a spreadsheet application and analyze it to interpret regional differences. Finally, users download data for their state and compare them with the other two states to answer a series of questions about regional differences in climate change. For advanced high school and undergraduate.
Difficulty: advanced

Earth Exploration Toolbook: Visualizing Carbon Pathways (Cycle C)
In this chapter, you'll build animations of satellite data that illustrate carbon sources and sinks to help you visualize Earth's carbon cycle. This activity is designed to familiarize teachers and/or students with accessing and analyzing data. It can be used as a professional development activity for teachers of any level, or it can be assigned directly to students. The activity is most appropriate for students in grades 7-10.
Difficulty: intermediate

MY NASA DATA: Earth's Energy Budget - Seasonal Cycles in Net Radiative Flux (Cycle C)
Uses radiation data from the CERES saellite instrument to understand seasonal variations in the pattern of net energy input to the Earth system. For grades 9 - 12. Estimated Time for Completing Activity: One 50-minute class period Learning objectives: students will use the Live Access Server to investigate th Earth radiation budget in order to understand how Earth's tilt causes seasonal differences in incoming solar energy. They will develop an understanding how features of the Earth system, such as clouds and deserts, modulate the reflection of energy from the Sun. For grades 9-12.
Difficulty: intermediate

Architecture 2023: A Case Study (Cycle C)
Architecture 2030 is a non-profit organization whose vision is in transforming New York City to reduce green house emissions by 80%.

CAMEL Climate Change Education (Cycle C)
CAMEL is a COMPREHENSIVE, INTERDISCIPLINARY, MULTI - MEDIA RESOURCE for educators, providing over 300 interdisciplinary topic areas and numerous resource types.

Exploring the Environment (Cycle C)
A NASA-sponsored web site featuring problem-based learning modules.

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