Impacts of 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

Melting Ice and Permafrost


Graphing the Extent of Sea Ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. Windows to the Universe. Grades 6-12. In this activity, students learn about sea ice extent in both polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic). They start out by forming a hypothesis on the variability of sea ice, testing the hypothesis by graphing real data from a recent 3-year period to learn about seasonal variations and over a 25-year period to learn about longer-term trends, and finish with a discussion of their results and predictions.

Whither Arctic Sea Ice? Earth Exploration Toolbook . Grades 6-12. In this Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter, students work with real datasets to investigate a real situation regarding disappearing Arctic sea ice. The case study has students working side-by-side with a scientist from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and an Inuit community in Manitoba.

Sea Level Rise. Geophysical Institute of University of Fairbanks . Grades 6-12. In this activity, students will learn the difference between sea ice and glaciers in relation to sea level rise. They will create and explore topographic maps as a means of studying sea level rise and how it will affect Alaska's coastline.

Global Climate and Sea Level Rise. California Academy of Sciences. Grades 6-8. In this activity, students will practice the steps involved in a scientific investigation as they learn why ice formations on land (and not those on water) will cause a rise in sea level upon melting. This is a discovery lesson in ice and water density and displacement of water by ice floating on the surface as it relates to global climate change.

Eyewitnesses to Change. Smithsonian-National Museum of Natural History. Grades 6-8. Students explore recent changes in the Arctic's climate that have been observed and documented by indigenous Arctic residents. Students watch a video, take notes, and create a concept map. Students also examine and graph historical weather data and indigenous data for an Arctic community. Students explain why natives are critical observers.

Glaciers Then and Now. Windows to the Universe. Grades 6-8. In this activity, students compare two photographs (with time spans of 30-100 years between photos) of specific Alaskan glaciers to observe how glaciers have changed over the time interval. Activity is a good kickoff for learning about glaciology - how and why glaciers form, grow and shrink, and their relation to climate change.

Google Earth Tours of Glacier Change. SERC-On the Cutting Edge Collection. Grades 9-12. A detailed Google Earth tour of glacier change over the last 50 years is given in class as an introduction. Students are then asked to select from a group of glaciers and create their own Google Earth tour exploring key characteristics and evident changes in that glacier.

Is Greenland Melting? Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapter from SERC. Grades 9-12. Data-centric activity where students explore the connections between an observable change in the cryosphere and its potential impact in the hydrosphere and atmosphere. Students analyze the melt extents on the Greenland ice sheet from 1992-2003. Students also learn about how scientists collect the data.

March of the Polar Bears: Global Change, Sea Ice, and Wildlife Migration. My NASA Data Lesson Plans. Grades 6-12. Students use NASA satellite data to study changes in temperature and snow-ice coverage in the South Beaufort Sea, Alaska. They will then correlate the data with USGS ground tracking of polar bears and relate their findings to global change, sea ice changes, and polar bear migration and survival.

Global Climate Change: The Effects of Global Warming. Teachers’ Domain. Grades 9-12. The activity follows a progression that examines the CO2 content of various gases, explores the changes in the atmospheric levels of CO2 from 1958 to 2000 from the Mauna Loa Keeling curve, and the relationship between CO2 and temperature over the past 160,000 years. This provides a foundation for examining individuals' input of CO2 to the atmosphere and how to reduce it.

Global Warming Webquest. Marian Koshland Science Museum – National Academy of Science. Grades 6-12. In this Webquest activity, students assume roles of scientist, business leader, or policy maker. The students then collaborate as part of a climate action team and learn how society and the environment might be impacted by global warming. They explore the decision making process regarding issues of climate change, energy use, and available policy options. Student teams investigate how and why climate is changing and how humans may have contributed to these changes. Upon completion of their individual tasks, student teams present their findings and make recommendations that address the situation.


Antarctica Melting: A Story in Four Acts. Grades 7-12. An audio slideshow series on the fastest winter warming place on Earth, as seen through the eyes of three scientists. Each episode includes a lesson plan to help students learn how all aspects of the Antarctic environment are connected.

General Web Resources

Global Warming 101 by the Will Steger Foundation, Minnesota. Following along on Will Steger’s expeditions to the Arctic. Students can learn firsthand accounts of the conditions in the arctic by asking questions or viewing segments available online. Curriculum and lesson plans are also available.

Sea Levels Online. NOAA Tides and Currents. Students use NOAA’s maps and data to see how sea levels have changed over time. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSID). The National Snow and Ice Data Center offers some of their data in the form of images. They have created Google Earth™ files that enable you to overlay the following data-based images on a virtual globe. Their goal is to help people better understand the cryosphere—where the world is frozen—by making their data more visible and interactive.

Climate Prediction Center. National Weather Service. The Climate Prediction Center produces educational materials to help students better understand the role of the climate system in our lives through the use of climate forecasts.

Climate Time Machine by NASA. This series of interactive visualizations show how some of the key indicators of climate change, such as temperature, sea ice extent and carbon dioxide concentrations, have changed in Earth’s recent history.

Global Ice Viewer by NASA. Ice, which covers 10 percent of Earth’s surface, is disappearing rapidly. This interactive visualization allows students to see how climate change has affected glaciers, sea ice, and continental ice sheets worldwide.

Glaciers and Ice Caps: How much do you know? By NASA. Test your knowledge of the many different varieties of frozen water and how these icy realms are connected to climate change.

Sea Salt Quiz: How much do you know? By NASA. Test your knowledge of ocean salinity and why it’s so important to climate change and ocean circulation.

Land Ice. Union of Concerned Scientists Global Warming Hot Map. Discusses how melting land ice can have widespread implications for global climate.

Sea Ice. Union of Concerned Scientists Global Warming Hot Map. Discusses how the loss of sea ice accelerates warming, threatens animals and peoples living in the Arctic and raises global security concerns.

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.

Impacts of a Warming Arctic. PBS Teachers professional development module. Changes in the amount of ice at the poles profoundly affect the climate across the whole planet. In winter, ice at the Arctic grows out to be about twice the size of the continental U.S. In recent memory, the ice used to melt back to about the size of the continental U.S. in summer. Now, however, the ice is melting back to about half that size. The areal extent of sea ice is important: Arctic ice surfaces reflect the Sun’s heat back out to space. Less ice means less reflection and more heat retained in the Earth’s atmosphere. Find out why the Arctic is predicted to warm faster than anywhere else on Earth and why this is important to the rest of the climate system. References national standards.

The Arctic: Our Global Thermostat. PBS Scientific American Frontiers. This PBS web feature describes how the arctic is essential to regulating Earth’s weather patterns, and how these patterns are driven by atmospheric circulation.