Envisioning Climate Change Using a Global Climate Model

This long classroom activity introduces students to a climate modeling software. Students visualize how temperature and snow coverage might change over the next 100 years. They run a 'climate simulation' to establish a baseline for comparison, do a 'experimental' simulation and compare the results. Students will then choose a region of their own interest to explore and compare the results with those documented in the IPCC impact reports. Students will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the process and power of climate modeling.

Go To:

Betsy Youngman
and team of scientists and educators
Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapter from TERC

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Each one of the six sections should have some kind of assessment or wrap-up discussion, a place for students to reflect and analyze findings before they go on to the next section.

Educator should encourage students to step back regularly to understand what was done in each step.

The EdGCM preview video might not be engaging for students.

Wrap-up suggestion: Limitations of models, what have we figured out about models, learning about models.