Author Topic: The Causes of Global Warming  (Read 9578 times)

davevade

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The Causes of Global Warming
« on: May 18, 2009, 10:01:08 AM »
I want to teach my 2 mixed ability Year 9 classes about the arguments that Global Warming is causes by humans/a natural process.

Ideally, I would like one website that can succinctly balance the arguments in language that KS3 students will understand. There is obviously loads of stuff out there, but most is a little too scientific for me to use. Are there any websites aimed at Year 9s that anyone knows of?

I have so far only found:

http://www.yourclimateyourlife.org.uk/

Which is a little too brief.

Thanks, Dave.

aberrantbee

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 09:29:07 PM »
show then 'An inconvenient truth'
'the great global warming swindle [about £3]'

and ask them what they think
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Blue Square Thing

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 10:05:28 PM »
Too many, err, lies in GGWS for sure. Serious, serious issues with the way the science is presented.

AIT we know has some issues with regard to some aspects of it. GGWS is far, far beyond that - I woudn't use it with mixed ability Year 9 for sure.
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zyxwvut

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 12:07:22 AM »
I'm in the process of looking out resources on global warming for the same age group and have had similar problems finding suitable websites. You might be able to use/adapt information from the following sites - depending on what you want to do with the class I suppose. A couple of the sites are aimed at younger kids so please feel free to ignore! Teachers TV also has some short videos that would probably be useful.

http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/vtc/ngfl/2007-08/geog/G1%20Climate%20change/index.html

http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/guides/shout_about_climate_soluti0.pdf

http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/cc.html

http://tiki.oneworld.net/global_warming/climate_home.html

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/antenna/climatechange/
- there is a climate change game on this site that looks quite good

Let me know if you find one single website that covers all the issues at the right level!

Sarah_J

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 09:29:42 PM »
There is an activty looking athe arguments used in the great global warming swindle on the Scince upd8 website (plus others on global warming which are really good too) - a great website actually for lots of things I find!
http://www.upd8.org.uk/activity/266/Global-Warming-Swindle.html

Blue Square Thing

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 09:55:58 PM »
There is an activty looking athe arguments used in the great global warming swindle on the Scince upd8 website (plus others on global warming which are really good too) - a great website actually for lots of things I find!
http://www.upd8.org.uk/activity/266/Global-Warming-Swindle.html

Ah, the good old give the kids a piece of paper to consider "facts" but there's actually 2 different sets of pov on the papers scam :-)

Good place to use this sort of thing. Love the HSW aspect as well - ta.
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gazz

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2009, 02:41:24 AM »
Every time I here the words 'An inconvenient truth' a cold shudder goes down my spine.

I've seen that film so many times, his voice!

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :o

davevade

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2009, 12:01:57 PM »
Thanks everyone,

I went my own way in the end and gave them a whole series of articles off the BBC website for them to read and research in pairs. It was surprising how little there was out there that could be aimed at KS3 students, in my opinion.

A quick search in Google seems to throw up a lot of high brow sciencey stuff. I was also disappointed to see that websites like www.ipcc.ch are still very much technical, sciencey websites offering very little for lay members of the public, let alone mixed ability year 9s!

I can provide the links I used and worksheet I developed off it if anyone wants it.

Dave.

Blue Square Thing

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2009, 12:46:06 PM »
A quick search in Google seems to throw up a lot of high brow sciencey stuff. I was also disappointed to see that websites like www.ipcc.ch are still very much technical, sciencey websites offering very little for lay members of the public, let alone mixed ability year 9s!

I don't think that's unreasonable at all that the ipcc has high brow, thorough scientific stuff on it. Half the problem with the whole climate change debate happens when people try to simplify it, letting the vested interests point out "inconsistencies". The fact is that it *is* complex and not brialliantly understood. If the IPCC tried to stick it in a munchkin format they'd be slaughtered by people like Pat Michaels and Soon et al with their oil company pay cheques, and the information they put up would be used as "evidence" that they were simplifying.

Hell, look at how something like the hockey stick gets misrepresented.

If you don't believe me, try hanging out on various US based forums for a while. Choose something that's not necessarily scientific but has some kind of political sub forum on it (I hang out on baseball related places...).

New Scientist has a section of climate change that has a FAQy sort of section in it. It's still quite complex, but probably a little more accessible.

What's the solution? Heck, teach that it's complex. Teach that it's important to understand how science works and that there's lots of all sorts of different bits of evidence that need to be tied together in an effective way. And teach that we don't know for sure, but that we can take that evidence and draw conclusions from it and that those conlcusions seem to point towards suggesting a conclusion which is increasingly reliable.

It's interesting to compare the figures for stuff like sea level rise confidence limits from the various ipcc reports. The way these have been adjusted and compared to the actual events is quite interesting in itself.
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swhitch

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2009, 03:29:31 PM »
On Sea Level rise: An interesting report on the nature of Sea Level change on the Essex Coast from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/research/theme4/workshop1/chapter_5.pdf  (Worth a read)

"Relative sea levels on this coast have been rising for several thousand years because of isostatic
rebound at a rate of 1-1.5 mm year. Saltmarshes developed over most of this period until about
50 years ago when erosion became prevalent (Boorman et al. 1989). The first requirement for
coastal squeeze, a significant rise in sea level, does not seem to have occurred over the past
half-century. Data from the POL PSMSL (http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/) for Southend (the
station closest to our research sites) show a mean rise of 1.25 mm per year (Fig. 2), but with
large variations in the mean monthly data, the rise is not a significant one. Moreover, the data
for the past 50 years, the period of marsh erosion, show no overall rise in sea level (Fig. 3).
More recent data for Felixstowe, Suffolk show a mean fall in sea level of 3 mm.y-1 (Fig. 4).
Thus the evidence indicates that, at the very least, sea levels have not risen sufficiently over the
past half-century to explain the saltmarsh losses."

Stuart
FRGS, FGS, C.Geog.
Head of Geography

swhitch

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2009, 11:35:52 PM »
Not quite the causes,  more the consequences: read the news, pay your money, take your choice !


14/05/09

The collapse of a major polar ice sheet will not raise global sea levels as much as previous projections suggest, a team of scientists has calculated.

But Professor Bamber said that no-one had revisited the calculation, despite new data sets becoming available, and scientists developing a better understanding of the dynamics in the vast ice sheets.

The original estimates were based on "very basic ice thickness data", he explained.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8050094.stm



10/03/09
The global sea level looks set to rise far higher than forecast because of changes in the polar ice-sheets, a team of researchers has suggested.

Scientists at a climate change summit in Copenhagen said earlier UN estimates were too low and that sea levels could rise by a metre or more by 2100.

The projections did not include the potential impact of polar melting and ice breaking off, they added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7935159.stm

Stuart  ???
FRGS, FGS, C.Geog.
Head of Geography

Blue Square Thing

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2009, 07:25:14 AM »
In general iirc the ipcc estimates from the previous reports have tended to be under estimates of sea level change. I'm pretty certain there's solid data to back it up - but you do need to go into the detail of the ipcc reports (they make a really good half term read... :)) rather than the press headlines.
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davevade

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2009, 11:43:51 AM »


I don't think that's unreasonable at all that the ipcc has high brow, thorough scientific stuff on it. Half the problem with the whole climate change debate happens when people try to simplify it, letting the vested interests point out "inconsistencies". The fact is that it *is* complex and not brialliantly understood. If the IPCC tried to stick it in a munchkin format they'd be slaughtered by people like Pat Michaels and Soon et al with their oil company pay cheques, and the information they put up would be used as "evidence" that they were simplifying.


My point wasn't that the IPCC should be less sciencey. My point was that they should provide some kind of parallel content that can be read by general members of the public or KS3 pupils. Look at their website - there's nothing there for people who might be interested but aren't geographers or scientists. If you can't summarise content then you've got no way of persuading people. IN MY OPINION anyway.

Blue Square Thing

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2009, 12:17:29 PM »
My point wasn't that the IPCC should be less sciencey. My point was that they should provide some kind of parallel content that can be read by general members of the public or KS3 pupils. Look at their website - there's nothing there for people who might be interested but aren't geographers or scientists. If you can't summarise content then you've got no way of persuading people. IN MY OPINION anyway.

I appreciate that. My problem is simply that as soon as that simplistic summary (which, lets face it, all of what we teach kids about climate change is) appears on the ipcc website I could certainly see it being picked up by the loonspud fringe and quoted as the ipcc "dumming down the science on their website". I've seen that sort of thing done anyway - there's lot of examples of the vested interests elements quoting research so selectively anyway.

I'm sure there's a case for some kind of kiddie friendly summary. Tbh I'm not sure I'd like to write it as I'd be bound to miss something that someone thought was important out...

I kinda like the ipcc stuff. It's good that it's a massive summary as, to me, it demonstrates the central complexity of the issue. Fwiw it's *not* in the ipcc remit to persuade anybody to do anything afaik. It's their remit to present a summary of the evidence and to monitor. It's politicians and pressure groups who have to do the persuasion - which, amongst other stuff, demonstrates the issue with science in the public view.

But anyway - anyone want to give a quick summary of the ipcc's findings a go? :)
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kevincooper777

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Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2009, 12:55:46 PM »
Read this thread with interest.

Whilst looking for something else, came across this book - I read the 'search inside' bits and it sounds like it might be a valuable source of information written for the layman / student - I recommend others trying to find a pitch for teaching about this topic to read the 'search inside' bits - only 5 mins, but sets the scene really well.  For A-level teachers, I suggest it could be good background reading / library book.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0954452933/ref=sib_rdr_dp ("Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air")