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Resources for Teaching Students About the Recent IPCC Climate Report

In a landmark study, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an intergovernmental body of the United Nations, has stated that human activity is altering the climate of our Earth in unparalleled and sometimes irreversible ways. According to the scientists we are well on our way to blowing past the 1.5 degree celsius increase in global temperatures before 2050 - an alarming possibility in the wake of various extreme natural events that have been occurring around the world. It seems every time we read the news or log on to social media there is a new fire, flood or other disaster wrecking havoc. This can be difficult for some to conceptualize and understand its direct correlation to climate change without visualization tools. Here are some tools that can be utilized in the classroom when teaching students about climate change:

  1. NASA's Carbon Dioxide Graphs and Maps - Over the last 171 years, human activities have raised atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by 48% above pre-industrial levels found in 1850 - this is a problem. Carbon Dioxide emissions directly contribute to the warming of the Earth, but our reliance on fossil fuels makes it difficult to curb the extensive release of these gases.

  2. Global Temperature Anomaly Map - The term temperature anomaly refers to a departure from a reference value or long-term average. This map is a great way for your students to visualize the fluctuations of global temperature by year.

  3. NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer - As global temperatures increase, the glaciers and ice sheets melt, and the volume of the ocean increases as the water warms. With this map students are able to choose any location in the world to see how coastlines will be affected by sea level rise up to 10 ft. This is an extreme important discussion to have for students in coastal regions, like Hawai'i.

  4. NOOA Coastal Flood Exposure Map - Another great resource for looking at coastal consequences of global temperature rise and sea level rise.

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