Inquiry into climate change


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Students are asked questions to assess their prior knowledge of climate change.

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  • Notes that are provided are to assist teachers to identify students’ prior learning, their opinions and misconceptions. Students in this activity are exploring questions to investigate. They are not being asked to provide correct answers.
  • The Earth’s atmosphere is made up of layers, which trap in heat. The atmosphere becomes progressively less dense at higher altitudes.
  • Nitrogen makes up about 70% of airOxygen makes up about 30% of airThere are other gases including water vapour in the air
  • Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water in the form of water vapour, hydrocarbon fluorides from fridges, air-conditioners and spray cans plus there can be a range of polluting chemicals
  • Students record their answer. They might not understand that methane is produced by animals and the animals we eat contribute.
  • Students record their answers. Greenhouse gasses hold onto the sun’s energy for longer than oxygen or nitrogen. Less heat escapes into space. The Erath’s atmosphere and as a consequence the sea stores more energy. The measurement of energy stored by substances such as gas and liquid is called temperature.
  • Students record their answers. . The climate is always changing, but naturally it is very slow and difficult to notice. Currently there are measurements to show there is a small change in climate which are very fast compared to the past. The poles are recording the greatest changes with the amount of ice on the north pole being dramatically reduced during summer.
  • Students record their answers. There are a range of predictions about how the climate might be affected over the next 90 years. This includes a small rise in sea level, more very hot days, higher evaporation and changes to rainfall and storms are just some.
  • Students record their answers. This is a simplistic question but is open ended for students to share their opinions.
  • Inquiry into climate change

    1. 1. Inquiry into Climate Change
    2. 2. What is the atmosphere?
    3. 3. The air is made up of a mixture of chemicals Which two chemicals make up most of the air?
    4. 4. What other gases are in the atmosphere?
    5. 5. Where do greenhouse gases come from?
    6. 6. How might greenhouse gases change the climate?
    7. 7. Do YOU think the climate is changing?
    8. 8. What might happen if the climate changes?
    9. 9. If the climate changes who might be responsible?
    10. 10. What can we do to help?