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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


Global Climate Change Model: Making Predictions About Future Climate

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  • In this interactive resource, students observe and modify a climate model to see how environmental conditions are predicted to change with varying levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The model includes an animated diagram and graphs that show the changing values for temperature, ocean CO2, atmospheric CO2,  and water vapor over time.
Teaching Tips


  • This model provides a way for students to see how temperature, CO2, water vapor, and the oceans interact with each other and how they are affected by greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Students can re-run the simulation a number of times for many years to record the differences and see the results of higher and lower emissions, as compared to 2010 levels.

Additional Prerequisites


  • Students may also want to explore more about the oceans using these resources: Climate Change and the Oceans, Shell Shocked, and Changing Planet: Fading Corals
  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with math, social studies, geography, and civics classes when looking at the data and discussing how an increase in temperature and humidity would affect where people will be able to live on the planet.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a model of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the Ocean. The model runs an average temperature and CO2 change at 0, 50, 100, and 200% levels of anthropogenic emissions and predicts the level of concentration in the atmosphere and the ocean until beyond 2100. However, with a low level of anthropogenic emissions, concentrations reduce with temperature. This is valid and recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
      • HS-ESS2-6 Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
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