Video/Microlecture: Culture, Heritage and Climate Change

A panel discussion organised by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council on the impact of climate change on the built environment. The lecture consists of a panel discussion that focuses on the links between climate change, preservation and future sustainability of historical buildings and modern infrastructure. The lecture also discusses how rise in temperatures, increased weather events, pollution, and frequent catastrophes can impact historical and contemporary infrastructure. The panel discusses two major themes: 

  1. What is the impact of climate change on our existing heritage and what can we do to preserve it?
  2. What is the role of cultural heritage in preserving or delaying the impact of climate change?

Through these themes, the lecture discusses the importance of finding a solution to climate change issues to ensure continued preservation of cultural heritage, history and society. 

Students will learn about the impact of climate change and global warming on the historic and modern built environment. Through examples such as termites destroying monumental buildings and homes, they will also learn about the various ways in which climate change directly impacts the natural environment and has indirect consequences on the built environment. Students will further learn the need for development to include sustainability and reuse of materials to preserve existing and future infrastructure.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate change impact heritage structures? 
  2. How does cultural heritage help preserve or slow the impact of climate change?

About the tool

Tool NameClimate Change & Preserving Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century
DisciplineSocial Sciences, Humanities,  Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineCultural Studies, History, Heritage, Architecture, Built Environment, Urban Environment, Culture,, Sustainability 
Climate Topic Climate and Society 
Type of tool Video/Lecture (1 hr 36 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byGetty Conservation Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council 
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

How Yukon glaciers are responding to climate change

This audio podcast discusses how glaciers in the Yukon are responding to climate change. It focuses on changes in the physical characteristics of these glaciers and several methods used by glaciologists to track changes due to climate and weather.

Reading: What is the Anthroposphere?

A short reading by the Aspen Global Change Institute that summarizes what the anthroposphere is. This resource can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about the anthroposphere and climate change.

This reading provides a definition of the Anthroposphere and overview discussions on the following topics:

  1. What is the anthroposphere?
  2. Why a separate sphere for humans?
  3. How does the anthroposphere change?

The reading also includes a short journal activity. 

Students will understand what the anthroposphere is. They will also understand about climate change and the role of the anthroposphere.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is the anthroposphere?
  2. Discuss climate change and the role of the anthroposphere.

About the Tool 

Tool NameThe Anthroposphere
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences, Humanities, Earth Sciences, Social Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview
Climate Topic Climate Literacy; Introduction to Climate Change
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byAspen Global Change Institute
Hosted atAspen Global Change Institute website
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Permafrost and Climate Change

A set of hands-on classroom and computer-based activities for students to learn about permafrost and to explore various web-based scientific data portals to investigate permafrost distribution, characteristics of permafrost, and the effects of thawing permafrost on the atmosphere and the environment.

Audio: Climate Change, Capitalism, and Communism in Arctic Communities

An audio podcast (Prof. Bathsheba Demuth interviewed by Prof. Dagomar Degroot) to learn about environmental and climate-related changes in the Arctic, the history of capitalism and communism across the Bering Strait, and the unique ecological characteristics and economic ideologies in the Arctic that would be of interest to environmental historians.

Reading: Biogeochemical Cycles

A reading titled “Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycle”’ from the Fifth Assessment Report titled “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis” by Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This reading discusses the carbon cycle and other long-term biogeochemical cycles and can be used to introduce topics such as  long-term cycles and feedback mechanisms. It also discusses concepts of atmospheric carbon, the greenhouse effect, solar radiation, ocean acidification and carbon cycle feedback. 

Students will learn about the various biogeochemical cycles and will understand Earth’s climate system and climate change. They will additionally learn about how these cycles interact with each other on different scales.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the carbon cycle?
  2. Discuss Earth’s climate system, climate change and biogeochemical cycles.

About the Tool 

Tool NameCarbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles
DisciplineBiological Sciences, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Carbon Cycles, Nitrogen Cycle, Methane, Long-term Cycles
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Hosted atIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Website
LinkLink
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: ‘Move, Adapt or Die’

A reading that discusses different aspects of evolutionary adaptations to climate change in animals. This reading by Renee Cho, Earth Institute, Columbia University, uses various examples to showcase how animals adapt to climate change and how a warming climate forces animals to ‘move, adapt or die’. 

Students will learn about some of the morphological, biological, and physiological adaptations that occur in response to climate change. They will further be introduced to the concept of epigenetics, its role in phenotypic plasticity and how this differs from environmental adaptation. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is evolutionary adaptation? How does it differ from phenotypic plasticity? Give an example. 
  2. How is climate change influencing evolutionary adaptations in living organisms? 
  3. What is epigenetics? Discuss its role in phenotypic plasticity? 
  4. Discuss why it is important to maintain large species populations and biodiversity in the context of adaptations.

About the tool

Tool NameWhat Helps Animals Adapt (or Not) to Climate Change?
DisciplineBiological Sciences, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineEvolution, Evolutionary Adaptations, Natural SelectionPhenotypic Variations, Genetic Variations
Gene Frequency, Phenotypic Plasticity
Morphological or Physiological Traits, Epigenetic Factors
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byRenee Cho
Hosted atEarth Institute, Columbia University
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Game: Understanding Climate Vulnerabilities and Building Climate Resilience

A game that provides an immersive learning experience to visualize the possible effects of climate change on our cities and neighborhoods in the future, and to explore actions for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Video/Microlecture: Global Warming and Sleep Deprivation

A video microlecture that discusses the potential impact of global warming on human health and sleep cycles. This video by Ryan Cross, hosted on the website of the journal Science,  describes the effects of warmer  temperatures on sleep quality in individuals in the United States. 

Students will learn how sleep is negatively affected by higher nighttime temperatures that lead to adverse impacts on human health. They will further learn how certain vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds tend to be more severely affected.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate change induced warming impact sleep cycles? 
  2. Discuss some negative impacts on individual health due to sleep deprivation. 

About the tool

Tool NameScientists warn of sleepless nights in a warming world
DisciplineBiological Sciences, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineHuman Health, Sleep, Sleep Cycles, Sleep Deprivation
Climate Topic Climate and Health
Type of tool Video (3 mins)
Grade LevelHigh School
LocationGlobal, USA
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byRyan Cross
Hosted atScience
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/ Microlectures: Droughts, Deforestation, Religion, and War

A video titled ‘Dry Season’ from  the Showtime series ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ – a documentary television series on global warming and impacts on the state, society and natural resources. This video includes segments on droughts in the Southwest United States (reported by Don Cheadle), religion and climate change (reported by Katharine Hayhoe), deforestation in Indonesia (reported by Harrison Ford), and how drought may have contributed to the civil war in Syria (reported by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times). 

Students will learn about the impacts of global warming in different parts of the world. They will also learn about how climate change could have been a contributing factor in conflict and wars. Students will further learn of the impacts of rising temperatures, increased carbon emissions and destruction of the environment on the security of a region.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss how climate change  could have potentially contributed to 
  1. Droughts in the USA 
  2. The Syrian Civil war
  3. Can religion play a significant role in climate mitigation? Discuss in the classroom.

About the tool: 

Tool NameYears of Living Dangerously
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences, Social Sciences 
Topic(s) in DisciplineDroughts, Deforestation, Conflict, War, Religion, Geopolitics, Human Migration
Climate Topic Climate and Society, Policies, Politics, and Environmental Governance, Disasters and Hazards
Type of tool Video/ Microlecture (59 min)
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate 
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byEpisode ‘Dry Season’ from  the Showtime series ‘Years of Living Dangerously by The YEARS Project 
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: IUCN Fact Sheet of Species Extinction due to Climate Change (Bramble Cay Melomys)

A fact sheet of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on the existential status of the Bramble Cay melomys species. The Bramble Cay melomys is the first mammalian species thought to have gone extinct due to human-induced climate change. 

Students will learn of the Red List of Threatened Species of the IUCN organisation and assess the status of the Bramble Cay melomys and will learn about its taxonomy, the geographic range, its distribution, population, habitat and ecology, and threats.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How has human-induced climate change caused the extinction of the Bramble Cay Melomys.  
  2. Discuss the population distribution of the Bramble Cay melomys species in the historical record?

About the tool

Tool NameIUCN Red List: Bramble Cay Melomys
DisciplineBiological Sciences, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineBiodiversity, Conservation, Species Extinction, IUCN, Habitat Loss, Endangered Species,
Threatened Species, Mammalian Extinction, Bramble Cay melomys
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationOceania, Australia, Queensland
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byInternational Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Hosted atInternational Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video: COVID-19 and CO2 emissions

A webinar by Carbon Brief on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The webinar includes discussions by the following climate scientist and analysts:

  1. Corinne Le Quéré, University of East Anglia, presented that CO2 released due to human activities fell by seventeen percent by April, 2020. This temporarily brought down the emissions to the levels observed in the year 2006.
  2. Richard Betts, University of Exeter, said that while the CO2 concentrations were only eleven percent of the expected emissions for 2020, they have continued to rise and accumulate in the atmosphere.
  3. Lauri Myllyvirta, Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), discussed his research related to emissions in China and India during the pandemic.
  4. Zeke Hausfather, director of Breakthrough Institute, discusses how 2019 might be the peak year for CO2 emissions.

Students will learn about the perspectives of various researchers and their interpretation of the CO2 concentrations recorded during the pandemic. They will also be introduced to various future predictions of emissions in different sectors, countries and under different policies.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is the overall global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the CO2 concentrations?
  2. How does the change in CO2 concentrations impact climate change?

About the Tool

Tool NameWebinar: What impact is Covid-19 having on global CO2 emissions?
DisciplineEnvironmental Science; Economics
Topic(s) in DisciplineGreenhouse Gas Emissions, CO2 emissions, COVID-19, Environmental Economics, Atmospheric CO2, Economic Policies, COVID-19 Pandemic and the Economy
Climate TopicGreenhouse Effect; Energy, Economics and Climate Change
Type of toolVideo (66 mins)
Grade LevelHighschool, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byCarbon Brief 
Hosted atCarbon Brief Website
Linkhttps://www.carbonbrief.org/webinar-what-impact-is-covid-19-having-on-global-co2-emissions?utm_source=Web&utm_medium=contentbox&utm_campaign=Covid-box
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Can People Change Climate?

A reading by Spencer Weart, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) titled ‘Biosphere: How Life Alters Climate’. This reading is part of an online book titled ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’. This resource can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about climate and the biosphere. The reading discusses the history of the evolution of our understanding of climate change with respect to life on Earth. It includes the following topics: 

  1. Carbon dioxide and the Biosphere (1938-1950s)
  2. Can People Change Climate?
  3. Where does the Carbon Go? (1971-1980s)
  4. Methane (1979-1980s)
  5. Gaia (1972-1980s)
  6. Global Warming Feedbacks

Students will learn about climate and the biosphere and the impacts of climate change on the biosphere. They will also learn about the natural and human-induced causes of climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate change impact the biosphere?
  2. How do natural ecosystems contribute to climate change?
  3. What is the role of the biosphere in determining the climate of planet Earth?

About the Tool 

Tool NameBiosphere: How Life Alters Climate
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Biosphere, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Global Warming Feedbacks, Gaia Hypothesis
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed bySpencer Weart
Hosted atThe American Institute of Physics (AIP)
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching Module: Climate and the Biosphere: An Overview

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

  1. Climate, Weather and Trees
  2. Climate and Earth’s Energy Balance
  3. Climatology Basics: What Factors Affect Climate?
  4. Climate and Life Patterns (Biomes)
  5. Extreme Weather
  6. Trees and Paleoclimate
  7. Future of the Forest: Climate Patterns and Life

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

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

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

About the Tool 

Tool NameClimate and the Biosphere: Unit Overview
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Biosphere, Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Trees, Biomes
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
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

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Quiz on Carbon Cycle

An interactive online quiz to test student’s understanding of the carbon cycle. This quiz by NASA can help students understand the various components of the carbon cycle and their influence on Earth’s climate. 

Students will learn about the processes involved in regulating carbon and the role of atmospheric carbon in the carbon cycle. They will further understand how changes in these components can contribute to climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What are the various components of the Carbon Cycle? 
  2. Discuss how the cycling of carbon through the atmosphere is affected by anthropogenic activities. 
  3. Discuss the difference between carbon sinks and carbon sources using examples.

About the tool

Tool NameCarbon and the climate
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences: Chemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byNASA
Hosted athttps://climate.nasa.gov/
Linkhttps://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/96/quiz-carbon-and-the-climate/
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic