E-Learning Courses on Climate Change

Series of two E-Learning Courses on Introduction to Climate Change and Climate Science

Following are two online courses in Climate Change and Climate Science by the National Resource Centre (NRC) on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune as part of the Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT), Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India.

Reading: Chemistry and Climate Change

A‌ ‌reading tited ‘Role of Chemistry in Earth’s Climate’ by A. R. Ravishankara, Yinon Rudich, and John A. Pyle in the American Chemical Society. This article is part of the ‘Chemistry in Climate’ special issue  and provides an overview of the links between chemistry and climate change. This short article describes how concepts in chemistry can be used to understand the Earth’s climate including the correlation between the release of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, aerosols and global warming. 

Students‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ introduced to how the study of chemistry can contribute towards our understanding of the Earth’s climate and climate change due to anthropogenic causes. They will also learn about greenhouse gases, carbon chemistry, various pollutants and how they impact Earth’s climate. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:  ‌

  1. What is the role of chemistry in understanding climate change?
  2. How have anthropogenic emissions impacted Earth’s climate change?

 ‌About‌ ‌the‌ ‌tool‌ ‌

Tool‌ ‌Name‌ ‌Role of Chemistry in Earth’s Climate
Discipline‌ ‌Chemistry,‌ ‌Earth‌ ‌Sciences‌ ‌
Topic(s)‌ ‌in‌ ‌Discipline‌ ‌Climate Change Overview, Environmental Chemistry
Climate‌ ‌Topic‌ ‌ ‌Introduction to Climate Change; Climate Literacy
Type‌ ‌of‌ ‌tool‌ ‌ ‌Reading
Grade‌ ‌Level‌ ‌High School, Undergraduate
Location‌ ‌Global‌ ‌
Language‌ ‌English‌ ‌ ‌
Translation‌ ‌
Developed‌ ‌by‌ ‌A. R. Ravishankara, Yinon Rudich, and John A. Pyle
Hosted‌ ‌at‌ ‌ACS Publications‌ (American Chemical Society)
Link‌ ‌Link
Access‌ ‌Online‌ ‌
Computer‌ ‌Skills‌ ‌Basic‌ ‌

Reading: Climate Change: The Chemistry Connection

A‌ ‌reading titled, ‘Finding Chemistry Connections in Climate Change’ by Jason Olsen for the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT), provides an introduction to climate change, its impacts and their connection to chemistry.  This reading includes discussions on topics in Chemistry that teachers can teach which have a connection with climate change understanding. These include 

  1. Chemical Reactions including conservation of mass, combustion reactions, balancing equations, stoichiometry/moles, exothermic reactions linked to Burning Fossil Fuels and CO2 Production as Climate Change Topics
  2. Gas Laws including pressure, temperature; Density including convection; Enthalpy; Kinetic Molecular Theory including states of matter, phase changes, latent heat linked to Extreme Weather Events as Climate Change Topics.
  3. Kinetic Molecular Theory including states of matter, phase changes; Conservation of mass linked to Declining Arctic Sea Ice, Decreased Snow Cover, Glacial Retreat and Sea Level Rise as Climate Change Topics.
  4. Solutions including dissolved gases; Acids and bases linked to Ocean Acidification as Climate Change Topic.
  5. Kinetic Molecular Theory including molecular motion, temperature; Enthalpy linked to Global Temperature/ Ocean Temperature as Climate Change Topics.
  6. Covalent bonds including molecular vibrations linked to Greenhouse Effect as Climate Change Topic.

Students‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ introduced to the main causes and effects of climate change. They will further understand the connections between chemistry and climate change, including burning fossil fuels and chemical reactions, extreme weather events and gas laws, and changing sea levels and Kinetic Molecular Theory. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:  ‌

  1. What is the role of chemistry in understanding climate change?
  2. How have anthropogenic emissions impacted Earth’s climate change?

 ‌About‌ ‌the‌ ‌tool‌ ‌

Tool‌ ‌Name‌ ‌Finding Chemistry Connections in Climate Change
Discipline‌ ‌Chemistry,‌ ‌Earth‌ ‌Sciences‌ ‌
Topic(s)‌ ‌in‌ ‌Discipline‌ ‌Climate Change Overview, Environmental Chemistry
Climate‌ ‌Topic‌ ‌ ‌Introduction to Climate Change; Climate Literacy
Type‌ ‌of‌ ‌tool‌ ‌ ‌Reading
Grade‌ ‌Level‌ ‌High School, Undergraduate
Location‌ ‌Global‌ ‌
Language‌ ‌English‌ ‌ ‌
Translation‌ ‌
Developed‌ ‌by‌ ‌Jason Olson
Hosted‌ ‌at‌ ‌American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT)
Link‌ ‌Link
Access‌ ‌Online‌ ‌
Computer‌ ‌Skills‌ ‌Basic‌ ‌

Teaching Module: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation

A teaching module titled ‘Adaptation and Mitigation’ from the e-learning course titled ‘Earth in the Future’ developed by Timothy Bralower and David Bice, The Pennsylvania State University. This module discusses the various mitigation and adaptation strategies and discusses what can be done about climate change. This topic is listed as Module 12 of the e-learning course. This overview reading can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about Climate Adaptation and Mitigation. The module includes the following topics: 

  1. The Economic Costs of Climate Change
  2. Abatement Costs: The Costs of Reducing Emissions
  3. Strategies for Reducing Carbon Emissions
  4. Modeling the Economics of Climate Change
  5. The Need for Regulation of Emissions
  6. Agriculture
  7. Water Resources
  8. Energy Resources
  9. Human Health
  10. Transportation
  11. Migration/Relocation
  12. Geoengineering
  13. Global Equity and Climate Adaptation

Students will learn about climate mitigation and adaptation in the long-term and the short-term. They will also learn about economics of climate change and its role in adaptation and mitigation. Students will additionally understand mitigating carbon emissions from energy, agricultural and transport sectors, among others. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discusses potential solutions to the climate crisis.
  2. What is climate mitigation?
  3. Discuss mitigation strategies of energy, transport, and agricultural sectors.
  4. Discuss some long term mitigation strategies.
  5. Discuss some climate adaptation strategies.

About the Tool 

Tool NameAdaptation and Mitigation
DisciplineEarth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Adaptation, Mitigation
Climate Topic Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byTimothy Bralower and David Bice
Hosted atEarth in the Future, The Pennsylvania State University 
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching Module: Feedback Mechanisms

A teaching module titled ‘Feedback mechanisms’ from the e-learning course titled ‘Earth in the Future’ developed by Timothy Bralower and David Bice, The Pennsylvania State University. This module discusses the various feedback mechanisms and is listed in Module 3: Earth’s Climate System of the e-learning course. This overview reading can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about long term cycles and feedback mechanisms. The reading includes the energy flow in the climate system of the earth. The reading includes the following topics: 

  1. Ice-Albedo Feedback 
  2. Weathering Feedback 
  3. Cloud Feedback 
  4. Positive and Negative Feedbacks

Students will learn about feedback mechanisms and their role in maintaining the earth’s energy and temperature. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discusses the flow of energy in the Earth’s climate system. 
  2. Discuss the various feedback mechanisms and their role in regulating temperature?

About the Tool 

Tool NameFeedback Mechanisms
DisciplineEarth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineFeedback Mechanisms, Energy Flow, Climate System, Ice-Albedo Feedback, Weathering Feedback, Cloud Feedback, Positive Feedback, Negative Feedback
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byTimothy Bralower and David Bice
Hosted atEarth in the Future, The Pennsylvania State University 
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/Microlecture: Climate Change and the Lithosphere

A video microlecture by Raghu Murtugudde, University of Maryland, titled “Plate Movements Mountains and Climate Change”. This video lecture is part 4 of this 46-part video series titled ‘Oceanography- Chapter 16: Oceans and Climate’ available at the Murtugudde Climate Academy channel on YouTube. This video lecture, which discusses the link between tectonic plate movements and climate change, can be used as an introduction to teach about climate change and the lithosphere. It discusses how past and present plate movements contribute to the current changing climate. 

Students will learn about the lithosphere and the link between tectonic plate movement and climate change. They will also learn about the tectonic plate movements on a geological timescale and their role in creating the current global climate system.   

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss climate change and the role of the lithosphere
  2. How do tectonic plate movements contribute to climate change?
  3. Create a timeline for plate movements and climate change.

About the Tool 

Tool NamePlate Movements Mountains and Climate Change
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Geography
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Tectonics, Tectonic Plates
Climate Topic Climate and the Lithosphere
Type of tool Video/Microlecture (7 min 14 secs)
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byRaghu Murtugudde
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

E-learning Course: Climate Science: An Introduction

An e-learning course by Andreas Schmittner, Oregon State University  titled ‘Introduction to Climate Science’ that discusses Earth’s climate and climate change. This course contains  lecture videos, exercises, references and various additional resources. It includes the following topics:-

  1. Weather
    1. Weather and Climate
    2. The Climate System
    3. Processes
  2. Observations
    1. Atmosphere
    2. Cryosphere
    3. Ocean
    4. Biosphere and Carbon Cycle
  3. Paleoclimate
    1. Methods
    2. The Last Two Millennia
    3. The Holocene
    4. The Ice Ages
  4. Theory
    1. Electromagnetic Radiation
    2. The Greenhouse Effect
    3. Earth’s Energy Budget
    4. Radiative Forcings, Feedback Processes, and Climate Sensitivity
  5. Carbon
    1. The Natural Carbon Cycle
    2. Anthropogenic Carbon
    3. Carbonate Chemistry and Ocean Acidification
  6. Processes
    1. Atmospheric Circulation
    2. The Hydrologic Cycle
    3. Ocean Circulation
  7. Models
    1. Construction
    2. Evaluation
    3. Applications
  8. Impacts
    1. Projections
    2. Ecosystems
    3. Long-Term Changes
    4. Regional Changes
    5. Extremes
    6. Impacts on Humans
  9. Economics
    1. Economics and the climate change challenge: Understanding incentives and policies
  10. Ethics
    1. Do We Have a Moral Responsibility to Stop Global Temperature Rise? Adapted from Moore and Nelson (2010, 2012)
  11. Solutions
    1. Technology
    2. Politics
    3. Personal Actions
    4. Adaptation

Students will be introduced to climate science and learn about the different aspects of past and present climate change – including natural and human-induced climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is climate science?
  2. How does weather differ from climate?
  3. What is the Greenhouse effect?
  4. How to differentiate between natural and human-induced climate change?
  5. State some impacts of climate change.

About the Tool 

Tool NameIntroduction to Climate Science
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Climate Science, Global Warming, Climate History, Climate Physics, Climate Economics, Climate Politics
Climate Topic Introduction to Climate Change
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byAndreas Schmittner
Hosted atOregon State University
LinkLink
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/Microlecture: Climate Adaptation: An Introduction

A video microlecture by Raghu Murtugudde, University of Maryland, titled ‘Adapt Now’. This video lecture is part of a video series titled ‘Climate Solutions: Drawdown, Designing Solution, Avoiding Disaster, Green Economy, Adaptation’ available at the Murtugudde Climate Academy channel on YouTube.This overview video microlecture can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about Climate Adaptation. This microlecture provides an introduction to climate adaptation as a climate solution. It focuses on adaptation strategies relevant to the global south. The video refers to the Adapt Now report by the Global Commission and the Paris agreement and its three dividends on adaptation: 

  1. Avoided losses
  2. Economic benefits 
  3. Social and Environmental Benefits 

Students will learn about climate adaptation. They will also learn about adaptation and mitigation synergies and different climate adaptation strategies for the planet and the global south.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is climate adaptation?
  2. Discuss the synergies between climate adaptation and mitigation.
  3. Discuss climate adaptation strategies for the global south.

About the Tool 

Tool NameAdapt Now
DisciplineEarth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Adaptation, Mitigation, Extreme Weather Events
Climate Topic Climate Mitigation and Adaptation 
Type of tool Video/Microlecture (11 mins 35 secs)
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byRaghu Murtugudde
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching Module: Earth’s Climate and the Cryosphere: An Overview

A teaching module by the EarthLabs section of the Science Education Resources Center (SERC), Carleton College, titled ‘Climate and the Cryosphere: Unit Overview’ that discusses the link between climate change and Earth’s cryosphere. This resource can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about climate change and the role of the cryosphere in determining the climate of the planet. This teaching module includes overview discussions and detailed classroom/laboratory activities on: 

  1. Lab 1: Getting To Know The Cryosphere
  2. Earth’s Frozen Oceans
  3. Land Ice
  4. Climate History and the Cryosphere
  5. Evidence of Recent Change
  6. Future of the Cryosphere

Students will learn about the role of the cryosphere in determining the climate of planet Earth. They will also learn how climate change impacts the cryosphere. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate change impact the cryosphere?
  2. What is the role of the cryosphere in determining the climate of planet Earth?

About the Tool 

Tool NameClimate and the Cryosphere: Unit Overview
DisciplineEarth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Cryosphere, Glaciers, Albedo, Milankovitch Cycles, Glacial-Interglacial Cycles
Climate Topic Climate and the Cryosphere
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byEarthLabs
Hosted atEarthLabs section of the Science Education Resources Center (SERC), Carleton College
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: First Law of Thermodynamics

A video lecture titled, ‘Basic Thermodynamics’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. This video lecture explains and details the first law of thermodynamics (Q – W = Delta E) in the context of atmospheric science.

Students will be introduced to the first law of thermodynamics. They will further be introduced to terms such as adiabatic and isothermal processes and related equations and methods of calculating geo-potential thickness using Radiosonde data. 

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

  1. State the first law of thermodynamics with the equation. 
  2. State the relationship between pressure and volume. 
  3. Discuss the first law of thermodynamics with respect to Earth’s atmospheric system. 

About the tool

Tool NameBasic Thermodynamics
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineThermodynamics, First Law of Thermodynamics, Adiabatic Process, Isothermal Process, Energy, Atmospheric Sciences, Earth system, Atmosphere
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of tool Video Lecture (49 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: Claussius Clayperon and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Two video lectures titled, ‘The Second Law of Thermodynamics – Clausius Clapeyron Relation’ and ‘Clausius Clapeyron Relation (Contd.)’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lectures provide details about the second law of thermodynamics, Clausius Clapeyron equation, Carnot cycle, and entropy,. It also discusses radiation laws, radiative transfer, Prevost’s theory, wave theory, particle theory, and black body behaviour. 

Students will learn about the Clausius Clapeyron equation, how saturated vapour pressure changes with temperature, and the impact of temperature and pressure changes on water vapour and earth’s climate. They will also learn how to calculate the reversible and adiabatic process called the isentropic process and quasistatic processes.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Define the following:
  1. the Second Law of Thermodynamics 
  2. the Clausius Clapeyron equation
  3. Entropy
  4. Radiative transfer
  5. Adiabatic Process
  6. Prevost’s theory
  1. How does height, pressure and water vapour percentage impact the atmospheric temperature?
  2. How can mechanical engineers contribute to reduce global warming using the second law of thermodynamics?

About the tool

Tool NameLecture – 29: The Second Law of Thermodynamics – Clausius Clapeyron Relation and Lecture – 30: Clausius Clapeyron Relation (Contd.)
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Second Law of Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics, Clausius Clapeyron equation, Radiative Transfer, Prevost’s Theory
Climate TopicClimate and the Atmosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (42 mins and 45 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (https://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/)
LinkLink 1, Link 2
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Videos: Earth’s Climate, the Biosphere, and Geological Evolution

A series of micro-lectures (videos) for an overview of the relationships between the Earth’s climate, the biosphere, and the lithosphere.

Climate Science Education Series

A collection of micro-lectures  by Raghu Murtugudde, Professor, University of Maryland, USA.

Developed by Science Media Center, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, India

This Series consists of the following video lecture:

  1. Structure of the Earth
  2. Introduction to the Geo-Biosphere
  3. Plate Tectonics, Plate Movement and Plate Reconstruction
  4. Movement of the Indian Plate, Climate Change and Biological Response
  5. Geologic Timescales
  6. Tree of Life
  7. Allometric and Isometric Scaling
  8. Effect of Climate on Biology: Allopatric Speciation
  9. Evolution of Plants, Flowers and Seeds
  10. Life and the Evolution of Earth’s Atmosphere
  11. Climate Impacts on Leaf Morphology
  12. Plant Response to Climate Change
  13. Environmental Variability and Biodiversity
  14. Environmental Variability and Distribution of Species
  15. Climate, The Earth’s Atmosphere & The Biosphere
  16. Human Origins, Human Evolution and Climate
  17. Human Migration and Species Extinction
  18. Human Induced Change and Effect on Species
  19. Climate and Sex Selection

Students will learn about topics such as plate tectonics, formation of mountains, climate and biological evolution. They will also be introduced to how plant responses to changes in atmospheric CO2, what determines the distribution of species on planet Earth, and how humans are affecting climate, and how climate influences human evolution.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Are humans changing climate to such an extent that species cannot adapt?
  2. How have the Himalayas influenced climate and affected vegetation?
  3. What is the impact of mean temperature on leaf morphology?
  4. How does climate change affect competition between C3 and C4 plants?
  5. How does human migration affect species distribution?


About the Tool:-

Tool NameEarth’s Climate, the Biosphere, and Geological Evolution
DisciplineBiological Sciences, Earth Sciences 
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview
Climate TopicClimate and the Biosphere; Climate Literacy
Type of ToolVideo/Microlectures
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byRaghu Murtugudde for TROP ICSU
Hosted atYouTube Channel of the Science Media Center, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, India
LinkStructure of the Earth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV7KPVUSNb0 

Introduction to the Geo-Biosphere
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EKTPqjQHo4 

Plate Tectonics, Plate Movement and Plate Reconstruction
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrBWmeJIBVk 

Movement of the Indian Plate, Climate Change and Biological Response
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3agnBrKcqAE 

Geologic Timescales
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlC5K1naXDc 

Tree of Life
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfFukoR7074 

Allometric and Isometric Scaling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JePQNb7jVlY 

Effect of Climate on Biology: Allopatric Speciation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rleizWoYnR4 

Evolution of Plants, Flowers and Seeds
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T5qeOJ0_-M 

Life and the Evolution of Earth’s Atmosphere
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifLcT5YJLnk 

Climate Impacts on Leaf Morphology
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN71YgzqYdw 

Plant Response to Climate Change
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ti09qMaLZU 

Environmental Variability and Biodiversity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb6BSY6paEI 

Environmental Variability and Distribution of Species
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc8L-y4eO1Y 

Climate, The Earth’s Atmosphere & The Biosphere
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuK9k-xGxJM 

Human Origins, Human Evolution and Climate
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dTqZCUXrqo 

Human Migration and Species Extinction
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucFPpeKM7bc&feature=youtu.be 

Human Induced Change and Effect on Species
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMsseu9jRP4 

Climate and Sex Selection
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcLLVKl1vps
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Climate and the Hydrosphere

A short reading by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), Center for Science Education that summarizes the hydrosphere and its role in determining the climate of planet Earth. This overview reading can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about climate change and the role of the hydrosphere. It focuses on the water cycle and climate change.

This reading includes overview discussions on the following topics:

  1. Climate change affects evaporation and precipitation
  2. Changing climate means changing weather
  3. Clouds affect the climate and climate affects the clouds
  4. Worldwide, sea level is rising because of climate change
  5. Ocean water is warming and growing acidic
  6. Sea ice is shrinking, causing more warming

The reading also includes links to further information on 

  1. Clouds, Precipitation, and Climate Change
  2. Climate and Ice
  3. Rising Sea Level
  4. Weather and the Water Cycle

Students will understand the hydrosphere and its components and its role in determining the climate of the planet. They will also understand about the water cycle and climate change impacts on the hydrosphere.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Discuss climate change and the role of the hydrosphere.
  2. How does climate change affects evaporation and precipitation
  3. What is the effect of clouds on Earth’s climate

About the Tool 

Tool NameThe Water Cycle and Climate Change
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Geography
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview
Climate Topic Climate and the Hydrosphere; Climate Literacy
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School; Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byCenter for Science Education, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Hosted atCenter for Science Education, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) website
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching Module: Climate Change Mathematics by NASA

A teaching module by NASA makes the use of basic mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometric functions and statistics to understand earth science and climate change. This teaching module consists of a range of topics, for different grade levels, and relates them to mathematical modelling. The topic covered are as stated below:

  1. Fractions and Chemistry
  2. Counting Atoms in a Molecule
  3. Parts per Hundred
  4. Parts per Thousand
  5. Kelvin Temperatures and Very Cold Things
  6. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? 
  7. Ancient Eclipses and the Length of Day 
  8. Earth’s Polar Wander – The Chandler Wobble 
  9. Identifying Materials by their Reflectivity 
  10. Reflectivity Fingerprints
  11. Graphical Reflectivity Measurements 
  12. Electricity – Watts and Kilowatts
  13. Energy in the Home
  14. Energy Consumption in an Empty House! 
  15. Annual Electricity Consumption in a Home
  16. Carbon Dioxide Production at Home
  17. US Electrical Energy Consumption
  18. World Electricity Consumption and Carbon Dioxide 
  19. Earth’s Atmosphere
  20. Carbon Dioxide Production and Sequestration
  21. Carbon Dioxide Increases
  22. Modeling the Keeling Curve with Excel
  23. Carbon Dioxide – Where does it all go?
  24. A Simple Model for Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide 
  25. Carbon Dioxide Increases During the Last 2000 Years
  26. Carbon Dioxide Changes During the Last 400,000 Years 
  27. Solar Insolation Changes and the Sunspot Cycle
  28. The Solar Constant Since 1600
  29. Scientists Track the Rising Tide
  30. A Satellite View of Downtown Las Vegas
  31. Exploring Washington DC from Space! 
  32. Paris – In a Different Light
  33. Glacier Retreat
  34. Estimating Biomass Loss From a Large Fire 
  35. Earth – A Matter of Gravity!
  36. Magnetic Earth and the Lithosphere 
  37. Studying Ocean Plankton From Space 
  38. NASA Satellite Sees Carbon Dioxide 
  39. Carbon Production in the US – 2002 
  40. Earth’s Carbon Metabolism – Revealed
  41. The International Space Station and Atmospheric Drag 
  42. Satellite Drag and the Hubble Space Telescope 
  43. Earth’s Rotation Changes and the Length of the Day 
  44. The Global Warming Debate and the Arctic Ice Cap 
  45. The Great Gulf Oil Catastrophe of 2010
  46. Recent Events: A Perspective on Carbon Dioxide

Use this tool to help students find answers to:

  1. What is ‘reflectivity’? Graph the measurements of commonly mentioned materials as per their reflectivity index.
  2. What is ‘Keeling Curve’? What does it say about carbon dioxide concentrations over time?
  3. How is carbon dioxide concentration calculated using satellite imagery?

About the Tool

Tool NameEarth Math Educator Guide
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineAlgebra, Data Analysis, Probability, Trigonometry, Fractions and Decimals, Energy Consumption, Visualization, Graphs, Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Keeling Curve, Carbon Sequestration, Glacier Retreat
Climate TopicIntroduction to Climate Change; Climate Variability Record; Planetary Climate
Type of toolTeaching Module
Grade LevelMiddle School, Highschool
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation 
Developed byNASA
Hosted atNANA STEM Engagement Website 
LinkLink
AccessOnline/ Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: Thermodynamics and the Hydrostatic Equation

A video lecture titled, ‘The Hydrostatic Equation’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. This video lecture introduces the hydrostatic equation and explains in detail the concept of ‘virtual temperature’ and its importance in thermodynamics. 

Students will learn about virtual temperature, impact of water vapour on virtual temperature, hydrostatic equation, impact of pressure on hydrostatic equation, and geo potential and its importance in thermodynamics.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is ‘virtual temperature’?
  2. Given the virtual temperature of air is 298K and water vapour content is 1.5%, what is the actual temperature of air?
  3. What role does virtual temperature play in Earth’s Climate System?

About the tool

Tool NameLecture-11: The Hydrostatic Equation
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineAtmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Virtual Temperature, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Hydrostatic Equation
Climate TopicClimate and the Atmosphere; Climate and the Hydrosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (50 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (https://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/)
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Introduction to Planetary Energy Balance

A reading by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Center for Science Education that discusses how the surface temperature of the Earth can be calculated through simple energy balance equations.This overview reading can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about planetary energy balance.The reading discusses concepts such as “expected temperature”, thermal equilibrium, infrared light, black body radiation and Stefan-Boltzmann Law.   

Students will learn how to calculate the surface temperature of planet Earth based on the balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing terrestrial radiation. They will also learn concepts such as blackbody radiation, the effects of albedo on the surface temperature of a planet, and the greenhouse effect of the Earth’s atmosphere.  

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Calculate the surface temperature of the Earth as a simple blackbody with no atmosphere.
  2. What is the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere? 

About the Tool 

Tool NameCalculating Planetary Energy Balance and Temperature
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Physics
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Blackbody, Energy, Energy Balance, Albedo, Electromagnetic Radiation, Conservation of Energy
Climate Topic Planetary Energy Balance; Planetary Climate
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byUniversity Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Center for Science Education
Hosted atUniversity Corporation for Atmospheric Research 
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: The climate in our hands – Ocean and Cryosphere

The Office for Climate Education (OCE) presents a Teacher’s Guidebook that aims to support teachers in carrying out various activities on climate change and the ocean and cryosphere in their classrooms, and targets students of ages 9 to 15.