Tracking Global Climate Change

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
8 9 10 11 12
Organization:University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)
Summary:The objective of this exercise set is to integrate knowledge from several scientific disciplines and learn something interesting about the way the world works. I want to use some basic principles from physics, biology and geology to see how a large scale planetary process, the transport of heat over the earth's surface, operates and has operated over time. This topic is of basic scientific interest, and it has real importance to the growing societal interest in global climate change. This applies whether natural variation in climate or human induced change are under discussion. The set of exercises that follows will examine how energy is absorbed by the earth from the sun; how and why this energy is distributed over the earth's surface; what controls energy distribution; how we can track the energy distributing process using the oceanic microfossil record; and what that record shows us about variation of heat distribution with time. This is an exercise in global climate change because the climate system is driven by the heat distribution process.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 3
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS1.B; ESS2.D; ESS3.D
NGSS Performance Expectations:HS-ESS2-4; HS-ESS3-5; MS-ESS2-6; MS-ESS3-5
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Analyzing and interpreting data; Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering); Developing and using models
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Stability and change; Systems and system models
Subjects: climate; climate change; energy; fossil; geology
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