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Climate change is considered the most pressing environmental issue facing us today. This week, we will learn about the science behind climate change and look at how climate change is impacting us here in the United States and around the world. We will review information from both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).
The IPCC was created by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988 as an independent intergovernmental body of the United Nations (UN). The goal of the IPCC is to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options.
The USGCRP was established by a Presidential initiative in 1989 followed by a Congressional mandate in 1990 as a federal program. Its goal is to develop and coordinate ‘a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.’
We will also calculate our household carbon footprints to see how we directly contribute to climate change (at home, by using transportation, and by generating waste) and how saving carbon emissions can also save us money.
Weekly Learning Outcomes
- Distinguish between natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change
- Evaluate the scientific evidence behind past changes in climate
- Assess scientific data and apply scientific reasoning to explain modern climate change and assess future climate projections
- Discuss the direct and indirect effects of climate change
- Calculate and interpret carbon footprints