Students have learned about the variety of factors affecting climate and climate patterns. They have also learned that climate patterns change over time for a variety of reasons. In this lesson students will learn how human interaction with the environment may affect climate patterns. They will learn about global warming and how it may cause far-reaching climate change. Students will also learn about ways that individuals and communities may reduce the emissions that lead to global warming.
Students will gather information from the EPA's Global Warming Web site. They will learn what global warming is, why it is a matter of concern, and some actions that can be taken at both the individual and the local level to reduce its impact. They will answer four questions and then use what they have learned to prepare a presentation to a group of community leaders.
- Students will be able to describe global warming, its effects, and actions to take to reduce its impact.
- Students will be able to create an informative and persuasive presentation about global warming to present to community leaders.
Applied Content Standards
Standard 14: The geographically informed person knows and understands how human actions modify the physical environment.
Student Web Activity Answers
- Energy from the sun heats the earth's surface, and in turn, the earth's surface radiates some of this heat back into the atmosphere. The "greenhouse effect" occurs when atmospheric greenhouse gases trap some of this outgoing heat. Without this "greenhouse effect," the temperature on Earth would be much lower and life as known today would not be possible.
- Annual per capita emissions in the United States are about 6.6 tons. Per capita emissions in Japan were less than half of U.S. per capita emissions. The top five per capita emission levels occurred in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland.
- More people die when temperatures are very high. Levels of ground-level ozone increase when air temperatures are high. Ground-level ozone is a harmful pollutant that can damage lung tissue and cause respiratory problems. Global warming may also lead to more cases of infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. Measures to increase air-conditioning, reduce the emissions of photochemical oxidants that cause ground-level ozone, and strong public health programs could help to reduce these health problems.
- Students' answers may vary. Examples include purchasing energy-efficient appliances; insulating homes to reduce heating and cooling needs; recycling as many materials as possible; using alternatives to personal vehicles such as bicycles, public transport, or walking; keeping vehicles tuned up; carpooling; combining errands; and buying fuel-efficient cars.
- Students' presentations should cover basic information about global warming, its causes, and its effects. Students may use information from the answers to questions 1–4 in their presentations. They should make good use of the information in the report Smart Savings: Climate Solutions for Cities. Their reports should be accurate, informative, and persuasive.
Go To Student Web Activity