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Climate Time Line

Sam Drust, Amy Nelson, Astrid Scott, ABC Net

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.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate is variable
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate is variable
Humans affect climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans affect climate

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
Energy infrastructure has inertia.
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5.2 Energy infrastructure has inertia.
Human demand for energy is increasing.
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6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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The earth has a variety of climates, defined by average temperature, precipitation, humidity, air pressure, and wind, over time in a particular place.
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The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
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Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere, and intensive farming, have changed the earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere. Some of these changes have decreased the capacity of the environment to support some life forms.
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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.

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