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Climate Science Literacy is an understanding of your influence on climate and climate’s influence on you and society. People who are climate science literate know that climate science can inform our decisions that improve quality of life. They have a basic understanding of the climate system, including the natural and human-caused factors that affect it. Climate science literate individuals understand how climate observations and records as well as computer modeling contribute to scientific knowledge about climate...
Explore a series of guides for educators that focus on the regional chapters of the Assessment Report, helping to unpack the key messages of each region and point to related, high-quality online resources.
The essence of this principle is that life affects the climate system and in turn, the climate dictates where and how species can survive. Life affects the composition of the atmosphere and therefore the climate because different life forms take in and release gases like carbon dioxide, methane and oxygen at different rates.

Teaching Climate Literacy

  • Climate and energy are complex topics. There are many ways to approach climate and energy depending on the grade level, course topics and instructional method.

Professional Development

Mar
26

Change Over Time: Investigate Climate Change Impacts in the Great Plains

The Great Plains NCA region will be the featured topic for the upcoming NASA ESTEEM "Ask US" session on...

Educational Resources

The activity takes a hands-on approach to understanding El Niño by physically showing and feeling the process.

In this activity students make biodiesel from waste vegetable oil and develop a presentation based on their lab experience.

This activity covers the role that the oceans may play in climate change and how climate change may affect the oceans. It is lesson 8 in a nine-lesson module Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

Students explore the carbon cycle and the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature. Students create and compare graphs of carbon dioxide and temperature data from one local (Mauna Loa, Hawaii) meteorological station and one NASA global data set.

This is lesson five of a 9-lesson module. Activity explores the effects of climate change on different parts of the Earth system and on human well-being: polar regions, coral reefs, disease vectors, extreme weather, and biodiversity.

In this activity students learn how Earth's energy balance is regulating climate. This activity is lesson 4 in the nine-lesson module Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

This video features three faculty from the University of Colorado, Boulder (Beth Osnes, Max Boykoff and James White) and CU students taking action with others to help mitigate climate change at a local level - making personal decisions about energy use and family size, educating the university co

This visualization is a website with an interactive calculator that allows for estimation of greenhouse gas production from croplands in the United States.

This video shows 15 years of data obtained via Polar-orbiting satellites that are able to detect subtle differences in ocean color, allowing scientists to see where there are higher concentrations of phytoplankton - a proxy for the concentration of chlorophyll in the ocean.

This interactive visualization is a suite of weather and climate datasets as well as tools with which to manipulate and display them visually.

This video addresses the importance of efficiency in providing power to an increasingly large global population.

This video illustrates how one community developed and implemented a sustainable solution to rising temperature in a stream.

This is a simulation that illustrates how temperature will be affected by global CO2 emission trajectories. It addresses the issue that even if global emissions begin to decrease, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 will continue to increase, resulting in increased global temperatures.

This is an animated interactive simulation that illustrates differential solar heating on a surface in full sunlight versus in the shade.

This interactive video series reviews global warming by recognizing the problem, addressing the sources and impacts, and weighing the options. It is a six-chapter series.

This visualization is a website with an interactive calculator that allows for estimation of greenhouse gas production from croplands in the United States.

This interactive visualization is a suite of weather and climate datasets as well as tools with which to manipulate and display them visually.

This interactive addresses the question if we can reduce CO2 emissions by 20% of 1990 levels and help avoid dangerous climate change?

In this short but effective demonstration/experiment, students investigate how thermal expansion of water might affect sea level.

This is a long-term inquiry activity in which students investigate locations they believe harbor cellulose-digesting microbes, collect samples, isolate them on selective media, and screen them for cellulase activity. These novel microbes may be useful for the production of cellulosic ethanol.

This is a hands-on inquiry activity using zip-lock plastic bags that allows students to observe the process of fermentation and the challenge of producing ethanol from cellulosic sources. Students are asked to predict outcomes and check their observations with their predictions.

This hands-on activity introduces students to the process of fermenting different carbohydrate sources into ethanol. Teachers demonstrate yeasts' inability to metabolize certain food sources.

In this activity, students conduct a life cycle assessment of energy used and produced in ethanol production, and a life cycle assessment of carbon dioxide used and produced in ethanol production.

This is a short experiment to demonstrate the concept of thermal expansion of water when heated, as an analogy to thermal expansion of oceans due to global warming.