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Climate Simulator
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/interactive/2009/dec/14/climate-simulator

Duncan Clark, Mairead O'Connor, Richard Bangay, Cai Ellis, Rosie Roche, The Guardian

This is a simulation that illustrates how temperature will be affected by global CO2 emission trajectories. It addresses the issue that even if global emissions begin to decrease, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 will continue to increase, resulting in increased global temperatures.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 6 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 2 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Natural processes of CO2 removal from atmosphere is slow; Long residence time of some GHG
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4g
Climate models are robust enough to be used for guiding decision and actions as response to climate change
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5e
Increased GHG concentrations in atmosphere will remain high for centuries and affect future climate
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6b

Energy Literacy

Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
The effects of changes in Earth's energy system are often not immediately apparent.
Other materials addressing:
2.7 Effects of changes in Earth's energy system .

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

About the Science

  • As a starting point, the user selects both the year in which global emissions will peak and the annual rate at which emissions will decline thereafter, and the tool graphs the resulting patterns of C02 concentration and global temperature.
  • The data used for the visualization is from the British National Weather Service, the Met Office.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The scientific strength of this activity includes the depiction of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures. The resource lacks references.

About the Pedagogy

  • The explanation provided (in the link "the idea behind our global simulator") gives good background and motivations for the simulator, definitely worth having students read this before using the simulator.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The simulator is very simple and easy to use, but to fully understand how to implement the use of the tool, user should read the background information first.

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

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Patterns, Cause and effect

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

Science and Engineering Practices: 6

Developing and Using Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data

MS-P2.2:Develop or modify a model— based on evidence – to match what happens if a variable or component of a system is changed.

MS-P2.3:Use and/or develop a model of simple systems with uncertain and less predictable factors.

MS-P2.4:Develop and/or revise a model to show the relationships among variables, including those that are not observable but predict observable phenomena.

MS-P2.5:Develop and/or use a model to predict and/or describe phenomena.

MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Patterns, Cause and effect

HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.

HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.

Science and Engineering Practices: 2

Developing and Using Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P2.3:Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system

HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.


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