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Climate Change Round Table
Author: Sylvia Kniest

Time: 5 class periods
Preparation
Time:
Prepare instruction hand-outs for computer lab
Copy article “Kyoto Protocol Comes in Force”
Materials: Article on Kyoto Protocol
Instruction hand-outs for computer lab
Access to computer lab

 


Abstract
In this lesson students will participate in a round table discussion on climate change. Their objective will be to persuade all industrialized countries to sign a global treaty to adapt their technologies to use more renewable energy sources and decrease their dependence on fossil fuels, thus reducing the threat of global warming.

Objectives
Students will be able to:
1. Explain the suspected causes of relatively recent climate changes, specifically the observed gobal warming.
2. Discuss how unusual or extreme global warming disrupts the balance of the earth’s geo-spheres.

National Geography Standard
Standard 7: The physical processes that shape the patterns of the earth's surface.
Standard 8: The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on the earth's surface
Standard 14: How human actions modify the physical environment.
Standard 15: How physical systems affect human systems.

Teacher Background
This lesson will extend students’ understanding from the previous lessons of how the earth’s geo-spheres are interconnected through the issue of global warming.

Related and Resource Websites
http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/brief.asp Natural Resources Defense Council
www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ol/climate/globalwarming.html National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Global Warming
http://unfccc.int/2860.php United Nations Convention Framework on Climate Change
http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/ Global Warming
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4267245.stm BBC News; Kyoto Protocol Comes into Force

 

 

Activity
Day 1:
1. Introduce the lesson by having students read the article from BBC News; “Kyoto Protocol Comes into Force” from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4267245.stm
Discuss:

  • What is the Kyoto Protocol? How does it attempt to stop global warming?
  • Why didn’t the United States sign the treaty?
  • What are the arguments for and against the Kyoto Protocol?

Tell students that they will participate in a round table discussion on climate change, specifically global warming.

2. Assign students to eight groups, one for each region of the world they explored during the road race in the previous lesson. ( Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Central America, Europe & Russia, North America, Oceania, and South America)

3. Students will research web sites to find evidence of global warming in their region to present in the round table discussion. They will also prepare a display of how climate change will potentially impact the physical and living environment of their region.

Day 2 and 3 (2 class periods): Take students to the computer lab for their research. Have them research and record the following information in their notebooks:
Student Instructions:
I. Read the article “Consequences of Global Warming”
http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/fcons.asp to gain an understanding of the issue.

From the article, list how global warming influences the earth’s geo-spheres. How do the interconnectedness of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere intensify the problem of global warming?

II. Use the web sites listed below to research the impact of climate warming in your region:
http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/brief.asp Natural Resources Defense Council
www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ol/climate/globalwarming.html National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Global Warming
http://unfccc.int/2860.php United Nations Convention Framework on Climate Change
http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/ Global Warming
http://www.climatehotmap.org/ Map on climate change

Record the following information in your notebooks as you research the topic of global warming:
1. What is the major cause of global warming? How do countries in your region contribute to global warming?

2. How have the governments in your region addressed the issue, if at all?

3. Note any evidence in your region that the climate has been warming.

4. Note any changes that global warming has made on the living organisms (plant, animal, human) in your region.

5. Identify the major causes of global warming.

6. What suggestions can you make to stop global warming?

Create a map that shows potential physical changes in your region if global warming continues for the next 25 years

  • In addition to your map, look for pictures, graphs, charts, etc. that you can display during the round table discussion.

Day 4:
Students will work in the classroom to prepare for the round table discussion. You might group students from each region together so that they can collaborate and prepare a regional presentation.

Day 5: Round Table Discussion
Arrange the room in a circle with the students from each region sitting together. Tell the students that the purpose of the discussion is to share their research findings and present their conclusions on the issue of global warming. The outcome will be for them to work together to create a “Global Contract” on global warming. The contract should begin with a common purpose and include an agreement on the cooperative actions the world nations should take to stop global warming. An extension to this activity might be for the students to send a copy of the agreement to their U.S. Senator for his/her feedback.

Closure
Students will sign the document they created as a result of their round table discussion.

Embedded Assessment
During a round table discussion students can be assessed on their ability to explain the suspected causes of relatively recent climate changes, specifically the observed warming and their ability to discuss how unusual or extreme global warming disrupts the balance of the earth’s geo-spheres.



PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

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Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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