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Climate Time Line

Sam Drust, Amy Nelson, Astrid Scott, ABC Net

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This simulation is an interdisciplinary timeline that has been developed to show key events in the climatic history of the planet, alongside events in human history.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice
High School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • There is a lot of great information to mine from this climate time line. Students could be assigned to mine information from one of the topics, for example - ocean, and create a separate time line.

About the Science

  • The timeline covers key events from modern day to 4.5 billion years ago. Can search by topic – including oceans, atmosphere, geological events, human events etc. – or time scale. The timeline has gone through a revision, due to several omissions and inaccuracies. See http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/02/climate-time-line-or-time-lie-response.html.
  • Data sources are not cited, but an internal scientific advisory board has reviewed the timeline.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Provides a clear visual display of the development of our understanding of climate change with associated policy reports. Many of the key points about climate change are noted along the timeline. It is nice that the timeline includes deep time perspective.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students can self-explore the timeline, but will likely need some guidance to ensure the learning.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent technical quality.
  • User should be sure that the "events" key at the bottom of the screen is visible.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS2.A2:The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future.

MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Scale, Proportion and Quantity

MS-C3.1:Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.

MS-C3.2: The observed function of natural and designed systems may change with scale.

MS-C3.5:Phenomena that can be observed at one scale may not be observable at another scale.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Asking Questions and Defining Problems

MS-P1.2:ask questions to identify and/or clarify evidence and/or the premise(s) of an argument.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

HS-ESS2.A3:The geological record shows that changes to global and regional climate can be caused by interactions among changes in the sun’s energy output or Earth’s orbit, tectonic events, ocean circulation, volcanic activity, glaciers, vegetation, and human activities. These changes can occur on a variety of time scales from sudden (e.g., volcanic ash clouds) to intermediate (ice ages) to very long-term tectonic cycles.



Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Scale, Proportion and Quantity

HS-C3.1:The significance of a phenomenon is dependent on the scale, proportion, and quantity at which it occurs.

HS-C3.2: Some systems can only be studied indirectly as they are too small, too large, too fast, or too slow to observe directly.

HS-C3.3:Patterns observable at one scale may not be observable or exist at other scales.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Asking Questions and Defining Problems

HS-P1.2:ask questions that arise from examining models or a theory, to clarify and/or seek additional information and relationships.

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