Climate change: the science is simple, the impacts are serious, the problem is solvable
Today’s children will feel the impacts of climate change more severely than any previous generation. It is imperative that they understand the science, can evaluate the impacts, and engage with the solutions.
Teaching has the potential to inspire young people to fix climate change, both by taking action themselves and encouraging grown-ups to do so too. However teaching this topic can be challenging due to; misinformation in the media, the perceived complexity of the issue and a lack of well-established teaching structures.
GeoBus has developed the following educational resources with the aim of providing an engaging, reliable, straight-forward, and logical framework for teaching climate change. These resources have been developed with published climate scientists, and approved as appropriate and reliable.
The fundamental science of climate change is simple …
1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which warms the planet
2. We’ve added CO2 to the atmosphere, by burning fossil fuels
3. Climate is changing: the world is warming, sea levels are rising, and weather is getting weirder
We recommend teaching climate change using the following structure and associated resources – under each heading is a little more information and a downloadable pdf lesson plan with suggested activities.
It’s happening: evidence for climate change
Earth is warming and weather is getting weirder. This is no longer deniable and is increasingly apparent in our everyday lives. Starting with observations of climate change will motivate students to find out more.
It’s us: causes of climate change
The cause of climate change is simple: 1) CO2 warms climate; and 2) burning fossil fuels dumps CO2 in the atmosphere. Stressing the simplicity of fundamental climate change science builds the confidence to engage.
It’s serious: impacts of climate change
Climate change is bad: the impacts on humans and the environment are overwhelmingly negative. This needs to be realised so that we can make informed decisions about our future.
A possible extension to the sea level rise experiment is to consider the differences between East & West Antarctica, using the same materials. A short video with some explanation of how to carry this experiment out can be found here.
It’s solvable: solutions to climate change
Humans are ingenious and resourceful: fixing climate change won’t be easy, but it can be done. It’s really important to discuss solutions to make sure students – and adults – get engaged.
The below file contains links to a series of websites and videos which have been listed under the above headings and may provide useful additional information. Please note that this is external content which GeoBus is not responsible for – if you come across any broken or out of date links, or inappropriate content, please get in touch to let us know.
Please check the GeoBus website for updates; we also value your feedback and would love to hear from you if you use the resources. We can also provide school visits with a climate change theme – for more information check out our available workshops.
Climate Change – In A Minute
This series of videos introduces the topic of climate change, discussing feedbacks and impacts, and illustrating why the current climate change trend is different from those seen in records of the past.