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Climate change is a rich topic to explore in the classroom. From science and geography to politics, it’s an area with roots in a range of subjects and can be a great source for debate
Climate change takes on added significance this week as thousands of people across the UK take part in Climate Week, a national campaign to raise awareness of the issue and steps that can be taken to address it.
This week we have a collection of resources to help your students explore the wider issue of climate change and its potential impact.
For secondary pupils, start with the Met Office’s Guide to Climate Science. It answers a range of questions including: what is weather; what is climate; has our climate changed before; and what could be the impact of future climate change around the world? The guide is accompanied by a Weather and Climate presentation and teacher’s notes. There is also aClimate Zones Poster that helps explain how human activity is leading to changes in weather and climate.
An important strategic imperative for the U.S. via David Cooperider (founder of Appreciative Inquiry and consultant to many institutions):
finding a new vision to lead a shared meaning and narrative for the world. Long read, I cannot do justice to his words.
Weatherwatch: Carbon released in the Philippines might never be recovered
Millions of uprooted trees will bump up global warming, by adding carbon to the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Haiyan has brought environmental disaster too. Millions of uprooted trees will bump up global warming, by adding carbon to the atmosphere. It is too early to say how much carbon, but calculations for previous tropical cyclones show the figures can be huge. In 2005Hurricane Katrina released an estimated 105 teragrams of carbon (well over half the amount absorbed annually by forests in the US), by tearing up around 320m trees. Haiyan’s tally may be even higher, as the Philippines has greater average tree cover than the eastern US.
But longer term forest regrowth may recapture the lost carbon. A recent study published in Environmental Research Letters shows that hurricane activity caused a net release of carbon in the eastern United Statesduring the latter half of the 19th century (due to a string of large storms and the existence of larger forests), but became a carbon sink by the 20th century (as regrowth outweighed hurricane damage).
Climate projections suggest tropical cyclones may become stronger and more frequent over coming decades. If that is the case then the carbon released by Haiyan and subsequent cyclones may never be recovered.