This series of two lessons uses cutting-edge scientific research on the effects of climate change on communities in the intertidal. Through a combination of a dynamic presentation and several videos, students are introduced to the effects of climate change on the ocean (ocean acidification and temperature increase) and what is known about how ocean organisms are affected. Then students read and interpret graphs and construct a scientific explanation based on data from this research.

This module contains five activities, in increasing complexity, that focus on understanding how to interpret and manipulate sea level data, using real data from NOAA.

Students first need to understand how to access and interpret sea surface height and tide data. To understand how to interpret these data, students will review and practice computing mean values. Along the way, they will learn how different factors, such as storms, affect tide levels and how to measure them. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry.

In this activity, students conduct a short hands-on demonstration that simulates ocean acidification resulting from excess atmospheric carbon dioxide and discuss potential implications of increases in ocean temperatures and acidification due to climate change.

This unit allows students to investigate past changes in Earth's climate. Students first explore relationships in climate data such as temperature, solar radiation, carbon dioxide, and biodiversity. They then investigate solar radiation in more depth to learn about changes over time such as seasonal shifts. Students then learn about mechanisms for exploring past changes in Earth's climate such as ice cores, tree rings, fossil records, etc. Finally, students tie all these together by considering the feedbacks throughout the Earth system and reviewing an article on a past mass extinction event.