Human Responses to Climate Change Resources

collapse Topic : Causes of Climate Change ‎(2)
Cyclical and Natural Changes
Human-Caused Changes
collapse Topic : Climate System ‎(12)
Atmospheric Circulation
Atmospheric Composition
Carbon Cycle
Climate Compared to Weather
Climate Feedbacks
Global Energy Balance
Greenhouse Effect
Ocean and Climate
Orbital Cycles
Regional Climates
Solar Radiation
Water Cycle
collapse Topic : Human Responses to Climate Change ‎(3)
Personal Responsibility
Risk Management
Social Values
collapse Topic : Impacts of Climate Change ‎(13)
Agricultural Changes
Economic Impacts
Ecosystem Changes
Extreme Weather
Freshwater Resources
Great Lakes Impacts
Melting Ice and Permafrost
Ocean Warming and Acidification
Plants and Animals
Public Health
Sea Level Rise
Surface Temperature Warming
collapse Topic : Measuring and Modeling Climate ‎(2)
Climate Modeling
Gathering and Measuring Climate Data

Personal Responsibility


Community Conversation. Climate Change: A Wisconsin Activity Guide. Grades 7-12. This section of the activity guide provides an activity and worksheets to help students sort through the various ecological, economic, and social implications of climate change and how there are many perspectives on the issue.

Lesson 6: Making Climate Change Connections. Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-8. Students read about impacts of climate change experienced by people living in different environments around the world and then discuss how these impacts are connected.

Lesson 8: Shopping Heats Up. Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-8. In this simulation, students experience how resources are distributed and used by different people based on access to wealth, paying attention to various impacts of resource consumption.

Lesson 9: Energy Policies for a Cool Future. Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-8. Students discuss energy impacts and suggest policies for addressing global climate change related to energy use at a “World Climate Change Summit."

Lesson 6: Changes All Around: Geographic Impacts of Climate Change. Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 9-12. In small groups, students examine the climate of countries in different environments and then predict what might happen to the climate of a particular country as the earth warms.

Lesson 8: Shopping Heats Up. Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 9-12. In this simulation, students experience how resources are distributed and used by different people based on access to wealth, paying attention to various impacts of resource consumption.

Lesson 9: Energy Policies for a Cool Future. Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 9-12. Students discuss energy impacts and create policies for addressing global climate change related to energy use at a “World Climate Change Summit."

Reading 4: Climate Justice. Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-12. Impacts of climate change on human health and migration.

How Green Are You? Climate Change: A Wisconsin Activity Guide. Grades 7-12. This section of the activity guide provides an activity and worksheets to help students understand how their personal choices affect climate change and how they can reduce their negative impacts.

The Stabilization Wedges Game. Our Climate, Our Future by World Wildlife Federation. Learn about the technologies currently available that can substantially cut carbon emissions, develop critical reasoning skills as they create their own portfolio of strategies to cut emissions, and verbally communicate the rationale for their selections. Working in teams, students develop the skills to negotiate a solution that is physically plausible and politically acceptable, and defend their solution to a larger group.

The Great Climate Change Debate. Your Climate, Your Future by World WildlifeFederation. Grades 9-12. Develop arguments and positions to debate ways to address climate change politically, environmentally, and economically on the regional, national and international level.

Lesson 7: How Much Does Carbon Cost? Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-8. Students evaluate structural solutions to regulate carbon emissions and play a cap and trade game, finding ways to reduce emissions in the most cost-effective manner.

Lesson 9: Energy Policies for a Cool Future. Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-8. Students discuss energy impacts and suggest policies for addressing global climate change related to energy use at a “World Climate Change Summit."

Lesson 7: How Much Does Carbon Cost? Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 9-12. Students evaluate structural solutions to regulate carbon emissions and play a cap and trade game, finding ways to reduce emissions in the most cost-effective manner.

Reading 3: Save Your Energy! Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-12. Energy sources for transportation and electricity.

Reading 5: What’s Happening Out There? Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-12. Examples of climate change solutions undertaken by governments and businesses.

Climate Change Through Tree Planting. LEAF Forestry Education Program, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Grades K-12. In this lesson, students will explore the role trees can play in addressing climate change. Students will brainstorm and discuss the benefits that trees provide. They will design a tree planting effort with the opportunity to develop a tree planting plan for their school or community.

It’s Easy Being Green: Green Building and Climate Change. Earth Day Network. Grades 9-12. This lesson will introduce students to green building practices and their benefits. Students will first discuss what constitutes a green building and collaborate to design their own green building. Next, the class will conduct an energy audit of their school. Using this data, they can suggest ways to improve the school’s energy efficiency and reduce its carbon output. Students will then assess their own impact on the environment by measuring their carbon footprint.

Are You an Energy Efficient Consumer? Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences. Grades 6-12. This activity engages students in learning about ways to become energy efficient consumers. Students examine how different countries and regions around the world use energy over time, as reflected in night light levels. They then track their own energy use, identify ways to reduce their individual energy consumption, and explore how community choices impact the carbon footprint. Plugged in to CO2.

Windows to the Universe. Grades 6-8. In this classroom activity, students measure the energy use of various appliances and electronics and calculate how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is released to produce that energy.

The Big Energy Gamble. NOVA Teachers. Grades 6-12. Students conduct an energy audit to determine how much carbon dioxide their family is releasing into the atmosphere and then make recommendations for minimizing their family's carbon footprint. Students are specifically asked to understand the units of power and energy to determine the cost of running various household appliances. Finding the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for different types of energy and determining ways of reducing carbon dioxide output is the outcome of the lesson.

The Lifestyle Project. SERC- Starting Point Collection. Grades 6-12. This multi-week project begins with a measurement of baseline consumptive behavior followed by three weeks of working to reduce the use of water, energy, high-impact foods, and other materials. The assignment uses an Excel spreadsheet that calculates direct energy and water use as well as indirect CO2 and water use associated with food consumption. After completing the project, students understand that they do indeed plays a role in the big picture. They also learn that making small changes to their lifestyles is not difficult and they can easily reduce their personal impact on the environment.

Energy Watch. Your Climate, Your Future by World Wildlife Federation. Grades 9-12. Keep track of home-energy usage and develop a plan to reduce the home-energy consumption. Track the progress over a period of time, and present the results to the class.

Write On! Your Climate, Your Future by World Wildlife Federation. Grades 9-12. Express views and knowledge of climate change in the community by writing federal political officials, local political officials, and regional newspapers, giving students a voice on climate change and their concerns for their futures and the future of their community.


Solutions: What's Being Done About Global Warming by Clean Air - Cool Planet. Clean Air Cool Planet, Portsmouth, NH. (2005). This video features stories from a business, college and a city that show how direct action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming is possible now- with positive economic results. The disc also includes a file of charts, graphs, and illustrations that can be used in presentations.

Innovate: Fueling Change. Grades 9-12.. Excite high school students about green technology and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers with this fast-paced video from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). The 10-minute video follows a group of high school students who are working to convert french-fry grease into biofuel. The group connects with another team of likeminded young engineers who as college students built a solar home, and the groups share their ideas and passion for alternative energy.

Young Voices on Climate Change. Grades 5-12. A film series featuring young people who are making a difference! They are shrinking the carbon footprint of their homes, schools and communities. You, too, can do something about global warming!


A Climate of Change: African Americans, Global Warming, and a Just Climate Policy in the U.S. by J. Andrew Hoerner and Nia Robinson. (2008). . Everywhere we turn, the issues and impacts of climate change confront us. Though the media is dominated by images of polar bears, melting glaciers, flooded lands, and arid desserts, there is a human face to this story as well.

Hell and High Water: Global Warming--The Solution and the Politics-- and What We Should Do by Joseph Romm. Harper Collins, New York, NY. (2006). Hell and High Water is nothing less than a wake-up call to the country. It is a searing critique of American environmental and energy policy, and a passionate call to action by a writer with a unique command of the science and politics of climate change.

Climate Change Begins at Home: Life on the two-way street of global warming by Dave Reay. MacMillan, London. (2005). Climate change is one of the greatest threats that humankind faces in the twenty-first century. But while government and industry fail to act, this book argues, we could all work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60%, the level necessary to halt the current trend according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Packed with provocative case studies, calculations, and lifestyle comparisons, this entertaining and authoritative book makes the complexities of climatology tractable and challenges readers to rethink their notions of "doing their bit."

Global Warming: Personal Solutions for a Healthy Planet by Christopher Spence, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, NY. (2005). Global Warming breaks through the jargon, offering readers both a clear description of the problem and a practical guide to solutions, from decreasing reliance on automobiles to increased recycling to political activism. It offers hope that each of us can be doing something to solve the problem and encourages us to act--not only for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren.

Weather Makers, The by Tim Flannery. Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, NY. (2005). The Weather Makers is both an urgent warning and a call to arms, outlining the history of climate change, how it will unfold over the next century, and what we can do to prevent a cataclysmic future. Along with a riveting history of climate change, Tim Flannery offers specific suggestions for action for both lawmakers and individuals, from investing in renewable power sources like wind, solar, and geothermal energy, to offering an action plan with steps each and every one of us can take right now to reduce deadly CO2 emissions by as much as 70 percent.

Fueling Our Future: An Introduction to Sustainable Energy by Robert L. Evans. Cambridge UP, NY. (2007). This book provides a concise overview of current energy demand and supply patterns. It presents a balanced view of how our reliance on fossil fuels can be changed over time so that we have a much more sustainable energy system in the near future. Written in a non-technical and accessible style, it will appeal to a wide range of readers without scientific backgrounds.

Carbon Offsets by Trexler Climate and Energy Services. A consumer guide to help reduce carbon emissions through their purchasing power.

Kick the Habit: A Guide to Climate Neutrality by Alex Kirby-UNEP. United Nations Environmental Programme, Nairobi, Kenya. (2008). This book outlines the numerous steps that can be taken to reduce climate footprints, whether from an individual, a business, or an organization. Provides great diagrams and charts. The creation of the book itself was marked as carbon neutral.

Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning by George Monbiot. South End Press, Cambridge, MA. (2007). Today virtually none of us ask, “Is climate change actually happening?” Only one question is worth asking, “Can it be stopped?” George Monbiot thinks it can. And with Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning, he offers us a book that just might save our world. For the first time, Heat demonstrates that we can achieve the necessary cut—a 90 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030—without bringing civilization to an end. Though writing with a “spirit of optimism,” Monbiot does not pretend it will be easy. Our response will have to be immediate, and it will have to be decisive.

How to Live a Low-Carbon Life: The Individual's Guide to stopping climate change by Chris Goodall. Earthscan, London. (2007). This guide puts the power to reduce carbon emissions in the hands of individuals, clearly detailing how changes in our everyday lives can bring emissions down to a level that is tolerable for the planet.

What's the Worst that Could Happen? - A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate by Grag Craven. Penguin Group, Perigree Trade, New York, NY. (2009). Based on a series of viral videos that have garnered more than 7.2 million views, this visually appealing book gives readers-be they global warming activists, soccer moms, or NASCAR dads-a way to decide on the best course of action, by asking them to consider, "What's the worst that could happen?" And for those who decide that action is needed, Craven provides a solution that is not only powerful but also happens to be stunningly easy. Not just another "change your light bulb" book, this intriguing and provocative guide is the first to help readers make sense-for themselves-of the contradictory statements about global climate change.

The Solution is You! An Activist's Guide by Laurie David. Fulerum, Golden, CO. (2006). This is a guide that can easily "fit in your pocket." Stop Global Warming turns headlines into action, providing testimony of leading environmental activist Laurie David's own passionate work and showing how and why others (particularly young people) should get involved in this and other environmental issues. In accessible and inspiring prose, David explains that Global warming is not an opinion but a scientific reality, one that policy makers by and large have failed to address.

General Web Resources

Climate Counts. Climate Counts is a collaborative effort to bring consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change. The site scores the world's largest companies on their climate impact to spur corporate climate responsibility and conscious consumption. What can we do to help? Climate Kids: NASA’s eyes on the Earth. This section of NASA’s Climate Kids site helps kids learn what they can do to help slow climate change and reduce their carbon footprint.

10 Solutions for Climate Change. The enormity of global warming can be daunting and dispiriting. What can one person, or even one nation, do on their own to slow and reverse climate change? But just as ecologist Stephen Pacala and physicist Robert Socolow, both at Princeton University, came up with 15 so-called "wedges" for nations to utilize toward this goal—each of which is challenging but feasible and, in some combination, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions to safer levels—there are personal lifestyle changes that you can make too that, in some combination, can help reduce your carbon impact.

Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). ACE is an award-winning national nonprofit dedicated to educating America's high school students about the science behind climate change and inspiring them to do something about it—while having fun along the way. They are based in Oakland, California, with educator teams in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Boston, Atlanta and Colorado. ACE delivers two core offerings: the free ACE Assembly on climate change and the Student Action Program.

National Wildlife Federation’s Global Warming Site. NWF’s global warming page contains up-to-date information on global warming’s effects on wildlife, conservation, and how both policies and personal decisions can help. Also contains information on Great Lakes impacts and Global Warming Fact Sheets and Clean Energy Solutions for each state.

Cool School Challenge. An educational program intended to engage students and teachers in practical strategies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions school wide.

Eco-Schools. Through school-based action teams of students, administrators, educators and community volunteers, Eco-Schools combines effective "green" management of the school grounds, facilities and the curriculum. Based on a 7-step framework, NWF has identified eight areas of primary focus or "pathways" to help schools become an Eco-School, including a transportation pathway.

Climate Initiative by HSBC Eco-Schools. This program is aimed at developing a global network of schools that are actively participating in learning about climate change and finding ways to reduce carbon emissions and energy use in their schools and local communities. 8 themes focused on climate change, including a transportation theme and Travel Case Studies (Ireland). Learn what other Green-Schools are doing as part of their travel programs.

Zerofootprint Challenge. The Zerofootprint challenge encourages students across the world to take climate change into their own hands by competing to reduce their school’s environmental impact. Join to measure your footprint, and then challenge another school to a race to reduce!

EPA Climate Change Kids’ Site. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Kids’ Site provides information on climate change and climate change impacts for children. The site also includes educator resources (see bottom of the page), including tips for teaching climate change.

Climate Change and STEM Career Preparation: Building a Diverse Workforce. PBS Teachers professional development module. The best way to eliminate the "climate gap" is to recruit climate-change STEM professionals from all sectors of the U.S. population, so that there are knowledgeable workers representing all communities. In this way, we will have the diverse workforce we need to address the spectrum of issues related to our dynamically changing climate. Learn about the kinds of educational experiences that prove effective in exciting students about STEM careers and identify resources that can be used to introduce students to STEM careers, especially careers related to climate change science. References national standards.

Connecting Global Climate Change with Engineering. PBS Teachers professional development module. Technological thinking is a critical skill in the 21st century workforce. K-12 engineering education can improve student interest, learning, and achievement in science and math. Engineering education can also increase student interest in pursuing engineering as a career. This module explores the importance of engineering solutions to the management of climate change by brainstorming ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in a form that does not promote global warming. The module also provides resources for students to learn about engineering careers related to climate change. References national standards.

Bill Nye’s Climate Lab. Chabot Space Center. Bill Nye's Climate Lab is an innovative educational initiative developed and presented by Chabot Space & Science Center. Chabot is proud to partner with Emmy-award-winning science educator Bill Nye the Climate Guy and world-class science advisors to inspire kids and families to reduce energy consumption and find solutions to a warming planet. offers fun missions and activities that increase climate literacy and teach energy-saving strategies for many areas of daily life.