Students model the effect of greenhouse gases on Earth's atmosphere. They find that greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are uniquely shaped to catch and pass on infrared radiation, and so they are responsible for the warmth we enjoy on Earth. The children discuss how the addition of greenhouse gases by human activities leads to further warming and what steps we can take to slow it.

Students first learn about the complexities of Earth's climate system and the different factors contributing to Earth's energy balance. Then, students categorize the factors that influence climate as warming or cooling factors. Finally, students design art pieces to depict the science behind Earth's climate system and share these artistic creations with families and communities.

Students explore the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 40 years with an interactive online model. They use the model and observations to estimate present emission rates and emission growth rates. The model is then used to estimate future levels of carbon dioxide using different future emission scenarios. These different scenarios are then linked by students to climate model predictions also used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This resource is designed as a module with a storybook or web story, and four activities. In the storybook, the GLOBE Kids investigate colors in the sky and learn how air pollution affects sky color and our health. Learning activities engage students in describing sky color and conditions in the atmosphere, creating a model to learn how sky color and visibility are affected by aerosols, using prisms to explore properties of light and colors, and collecting aerosol samples.

Through learning activities, students learn how weather over a long period of time describes climate, explore how sea level rise can affect coastal communities and environments, and describe how humans are contributing to climate change and how we can take action to solve this problem.

In this lab activity, students use a chemical indicator (bromothymol blue) to detect the presence of carbon dioxide in animal and plant respiration and in the burning of fossil fuels and its absence in the products of plant photosynthesis. After completing the five parts of this activity, students compare the colors of the chemical indicator in each part and interpret the results in terms of the qualitative importance of carbon sinks and sources.

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.

Students use long term sea-level rise data set to create models and compare short-term trends to long-term trends. They then determine whether sea-level rise is occurring based on the data.