This lesson explores the chemistry of some of the greenhouse gases that affect Earth's climate. Third in a series of 9 lessons from an online module entitled 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change'.

Using real data from NASA's GRACE satellites, students will track water mass changes in the U.S., data that measures changes in ice, surface and especially groundwater. The background information includes an animated video about where water exists and how it moves around Earth, as well as short video clips to introduce the GRACE mission and explain how satellites collect data. Students will estimate water resources using heat-map data, create a line graph for a specific location, then assess trends and discuss implications.

This activity illustrates the importance of water resources and how changes in climate are closely linked to changes in water resources. The activity could fit into many parts of a science curriculum, for example a unit on water could be connected to climate change.

One of a suite of online climate interactive simulations, this Greenhouse Gas Simulator uses the bathtub model to demonstrate how atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will continue to rise unless they are lowered to match the amount of CO2 that can be removed through natural processes.

This video discusses impacts that the Eastern US is experiencing due to climate change. It describes the seasonal shifts that may affect tourism in New England, extreme heat in the Southeast, how rising sea level affects coastal areas, changes in hurricane intensity, the spread of invasive species and disease, as well as other topics.

The Climate Momentum Simulation allows users to quickly compare the resulting sea level rise, temperature change, atmospheric CO2, and global CO2 emissions from six different policy options projected out to 2100.

This activity allows students to examine graphs of sea level rise data as well as global temperature data. They calculate amounts and rates of sea level rise for various time periods and answer questions discussing the data. They then compare the sea level rise trends to those in a graph of temperature data.

This video segment from 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' explores how we know that today's increased levels of CO2 are caused by humans burning fossil fuels and not by some natural process, such as volcanic out-gassing. Climate scientist Richard Alley provides a detailed step-by-step explanation that examines the physics and chemistry of different "flavors," or isotopes, of carbon in Earth's atmosphere.

This video provides a good introduction to the field of attribution science. Beginning with an introduction to weather and climate, it describes how severe weather might be linked to climate change and the science behind attribution studies. It gives a good explanation behind how scientists use climate models to study whether severe weather events were influenced by climate change. It also discusses the question, "does climate change cause extreme weather?" and provides an introduction to the concepts of probability, causation, and correlation in regards to attribution science (how much climate change influenced an event verses normal variations in weather).

This short video describes the Hestia project - a software tool and data model that provide visualizations of localized CO2 emissions from residential, commercial, and vehicle levels, as well as day versus night comparisons, in the city of Indianapolis.

This short cartoon video uses a simple baseball analogy (steroid use increases probability of hitting home runs) to explain how small increases in greenhouse gases can cause global temperature changes and increase the probability of extreme weather events.