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NCSE Roundup: Teaching Climate Change in the Classroom

NCSE Roundup: Teaching Climate Change in the Classroom

This week in evolution and climate change, National Center for Science Education (NCSE) team members offer perspectives and resources on teaching climate change and its effects in the classroom as well as why it's important to do so.

With the Hottest July on Record, California Serves as Model for Negative Consequences

Not only was this past July the hottest July ever, it was also the hottest recorded month to date, said Steve Newton.

"Data show that the global average surface temperature in July was 61.86oF, breaking the 1998 record by 0.14 degrees"

Newton points out some of the negative consequences of it being so hot:

"NASA reports that the ground in parts of [California] is sinking as rapidly as two inches per month. No, I didn’t mistype that: two inches per month" thanks to the epic drought it is experiencing that is causing it to rapidly pump water.

"Record-breaking temperatures. El Niño storms and landslides. Epic drought. Rapid land subsidence. California has always been a land with plenty of drama, but human activities are making the Golden State even more extreme," he said.

Read his full post here.

The Changing of Ocean Chemistry; Resources Included

Just as Newton explains the negative effects of a changing climate, so does NCSE intern Nikita Daryanani in her post about the effects of climate change on the ocean's chemistry.

Daryanani provides teachers with several great resources to explain to students about the process of cean acidification, or the increase of acid in the ocean as a result of increased carbon dioxide emissions.

She discusses the resource EarthVision, which has lots of free videos for educators about the effects of climate change on the planet, including specifically ocean acidification.

Check out the post and resources here

Why Earth Sciences Should Be a Required K-12 Course

"Climate change is the most urgent existential issue we face, yet education about climate change is often missing in action from K–12 schools," said Steve Newton.

Newton discusses the importance of teaching climate change in K-12 classrooms and higher education even if the course isn't specifically structured to do so.

"There is room in traditional K–12 science classes—biology, chemistry, and physics—for teachers to sneak in aspects of climate science. Biology instructors, for instance, can talk about ecological zonation, and how these zones may change in the future as climate shifts, with some animals seeking higher ground, while other organisms going extinct," he said.

Read his full post here.


Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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