December 2015 was the wettest month in the UK since records began and devastating floods affected thousands of people. Scientists believe climate change may have caused this extreme weather. In this sequence students apply their knowledge to create an apocalyptic weather report. Then they learn the skill of examining consequences, and judge solutions for limiting the temperature rise to 2 degrees.
Editor’s note: This is an updated version of the activity.
SEQUENCE FOR ADVANCED USERS
This material is called a Sequence, as it is designed to last two lessons. It explicitly teaches an important Working Scientifically skill, as well as developing science knowledge.
Climate: describe how global warming can impact on climate and local weather patterns (KS3 Science Syllabus)
Examine consequences: consider the impacts of carbon emission actions on the environment, people and money (KS3 Science Syllabus)
Try the activity
Running the activity
Engage Get students interested in the issue and introduce the dilemma: What will save the world from getting more than two degrees hotter?
Review Students create a weather report to show the effects of climate change
Consider Students consider what it will be like to live in 2050 if targets are not met
Engage Review the dilemma
Play Students play a game to learn how to examine the consequences of an action
Decide Students decide which climate change action they would recommend by considering the consequences of each
For detailed running notes, download the teachers guide.
Video showing BBC weather report during the storms
This could be shown in the Review of lesson 1 to help students plan their weather report
Two degrees: how the world failed on climate change
A straight talking article outlines the origin of the 2 degrees limit but argues that remaining within 2 degrees is delusional without serious changes now.
Climate change consequences
A video from the European commission, which outlines the causes and consequences of climate change.
European Environment Agency (EEA) report on climate change
This report, suitable for teacher background information, presents information on projected climate change and related impacts in Europe, based on a range of indicators.
This website helps people see what works to address climate change and related issues like energy, water, food, and disaster risk reduction
World Climate GAME
The World Climate Simulation is a role playing exercise of the UN climate change negotiations for groups, suitable for people from middle school to graduate school students