Topic(s): Ocean and Climate, Measuring and Modeling Climate, Ecosystem Changes, Plants and Animals, Climate Impacts
Grade Level: High School (9-12), College Lower (13-14)
This unit allows students to investigate past changes in Earth's climate. Students first explore relationships in climate data such as temperature, solar radiation, carbon dioxide, and biodiversity. They then investigate solar radiation in more depth to learn about changes over time such as seasonal shifts. Students then learn about mechanisms for exploring past changes in Earth's climate such as ice cores, tree rings, fossil records, etc. Finally, students tie all these together by considering the feedbacks throughout the Earth system and reviewing an article on a past mass extinction event.