Teaching AboutGlobal Climate Change Using Emission Scenarios By: Kristen Kane and Brian Turner
Something to think about…• This YouTube video “The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See 2” was made by a high school teacher in an attempt to spread the word about mitigating global climate change. This new and improved second version of his video is a little silly but might be a great way to start (or perhaps finish?) a unit on global climate change.
IntroductionIn this presentation we will cover:• Background information about our emission scenario• Evidence that the scenario may or may not occur• Resources to assist in teaching about the scenario• Incorporation of STEM methodologies and NASA resources in the classroom
Why teach global climate change using emission scenarios?• The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report in 2007 that described the many possible emission scenarios that may occur within the next 100 years with regard to global climate change.• Though it cannot be said definitively which scenario may occur it is a good stepping stone to research the implications of the scenario and how humans can adapt to or mitigate it.
Our Scenario: A1F1A more integrated world characterized by:• Rapid economic growth• World population reaching 9 billion by 2050 then slowly decreasing• New and efficient technologies quickly spreading• Income and way of life converging among regions• Extensive worldwide cultural and social interactions• An emphasis on fossil fuels
How does A1F1 differ from other scenarios?• A scenarios are the same except for the main energy source (A1T= non-fossil fuel energy source, A1B= balanced)• B1 heads toward more of a service and information economy, green technologies, and global solutions to problems• In the B2 scenario the population, economy, and technology grow much more slowly and problems are solved locally
Evidence that this scenario may occur in the next 100 years• Our world primarily depends on fossil fuels as an energy resource and will likely continue to do so.• The U.S. Energy Information Administration has issued a report for projected energy usage from 2006-2035. Energy usage of all types are predicted to increase but fossil fuels are still predicted to be used primarily (although nuclear and other renewable sources are predicted to increase).
Evidence (cont.)• Global population is predicted to continue to increase to 9.3 billion by the year 2050 but according to the United Nations’ press release in May of 2011 the world’s population could reach 10.1 billion by 2100. By the end of the 21st century it is predicted that only high fertility countries’ populations would be increasing and the other countries’ populations would be decreasing.
Evidence (cont.) • Social and cultural interactions already occur throughout the world to a certain extent and will likely increase as technology increases and spreads • New technologies are spreading very quickly throughout the world (sometimes too fast!) and it is expected that this will also continue
Evidence that this scenario may not occur in the next 100 years• According to a global economic outlook it is predicted that overall economic growth in the world will decrease at least through 2025. Within that time frame advanced economies will recover some and emerging economies will slow down some.• Overall it does appear that gap in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between advanced, emerging, and developing economies will get smaller.• Regardless, it appears when looking at all of the scenarios that income doesn’t seem to matter that much when comparing projected carbon dioxide levels because both B1 and A1T also have higher incomes but lower CO2 levels
Key uncertainties that would exist for the A1F1 scenario to occur• Most important- CO2 produced by humans – As population increases the amount of CO2 will increase in this fossil-fuel dependent scenario• Rising sea level due to melting land and sea ice• Land development- as the population grows more land will be developed eliminating CO2 absorbing trees and vegetation.
Changes that would have to occur forthis scenario to occur within 100 years• Population- nothing really has to change• Technology- more advancements in developing countries would be needed• Economy- not sure how the differences in worldwide per capita income would be lessened unless advanced economies had a major decline (which is not part of the scenario)• Social/cultural- we are interacting more socially and culturally with others around the world but it’s unknown how major differences in religion and politics would be resolved
Useful resources for teaching about climate change scenarios• IPCC’s 2007 Synthesis Report- a great information resource about global climate change data (observed changes, causes, emissions scenarios, adaptation, and mitigation• IPCC’s Special Report on Emissions Scenarios- a good source of data for analysis as well as a description of the scenarios• NASA Earth Observatory- good information about how much the Earth might warm and what the effects may be
STEM resources for teaching about global climate change• STEM lessons from NASA Global Climate Change Education Modules – “Energy for Me: Sustaining My Community with Renewable Energy” – “Infectious Diseases and Climate Change” – “Phytoplankton Blooms and Ocean Warming”. – These modules are great because they list multiple resources for different student levels.
STEM resources (cont.)• NASA Global Climate Change website – Climate Time Machine interactive- great visual resource for students to see how sea ice, sea level, carbon emissions, and global temperature have changed over time – Images and Videos- there are some great images of climate change (before and after pictures) and under “Climate Reel” you’ll find a site with the top NASA videos for climate change.
STEM resources (cont.)• My NASA data website – Good lessons using multiple online resources and actual NASA data – Data sets can be downloaded for math applications – Students would likely enjoy working with real data
STEM resources (cont.)• PBS LearningMedia website – Great project-based STEM lessons using the engineering design process – Capturing Renewable Energy”,“Energy Production” or “Windmills: Putting Wind Energy to Work” would be great for learning about mitigating GCC
STEM Resources (cont.)• Engineering, Go For It (eGFI) – Lessons that look great and use EDP and PBL: “Green Roof Design”, “Zero-Energy Home Design”, “Solar Water Heater”, and “Life After Trash” – These lessons would go along with learning about mitigating global climate change very well
In summary…• Using the IPCC’s emission scenarios is an effective way to help students learn about all aspects of global climate change (causes, effects, adaptation, and mitigation)• There are many STEM lessons that can be utilized as a tool to engage students while learning about global climate change• There are many NASA resources that can aid in teaching about global climate change including videos, interactives, images, lesson plans, and data sets