Climate and the Biosphere

A video lecture that gives an overview of how vegetation responds to climate change in terms of phenotypic plasticity, range shifts, phenology, and population changes. Students will learn about plant responses to increased CO2 levels,
This teaching module allows students to explore the role of stomata in regulating leaf temperature and water loss from plants under different environmental and climatic conditions. Students will observe the nature and distribution of stomata
A simple simulator that allows users to change a range of variables such as the color of light, brightness of light, and carbon dioxide concentration, and then note their impact on the photosynthetic efficiency of
A reading that discusses the effects of elevated CO2 levels on the photosynthetic efficiency of field-grown plants. Students will learn about the difference in the physiological and biochemical responses of C3 and C4 plants to
A reading that shows that climate change can be a selective pressure in natural selection. It explains how the selection of a character that provides an adaptive advantage in a changed environment, leads to the
A video that shows that climate change can be a selective pressure in natural selection that can lead to the ‘evolutionary rescue’ of a species. Students will learn about the Snowshoe hares in North America.
A classroom/laboratory activity that shows how to measure the rate of photosynthesis and its changes under different conditions including high concentrations of carbon dioxide, a potential contributor to climate change. Students will be able to
An interactive visualization to observe the effects of a global temperature increase of 4 °C on human health, agriculture, forests, oceans and marine ecosystems, permafrost, water availability, and extreme climate events. Students will observe and
A classroom/laboratory activity to examine and analyze squirrel species distribution and habitat data (from the USA) over time, and to interpret the possible relationship between climate change and changes in biodiversity.  Students will analyze data
A classroom/ laboratory activity to learn about phenology and phenological events, and to understand the potential impacts of climate change on periodic life-cycle events in plants, specifically, on the bloom date of North American lilac shrubs. Students will
A classroom/laboratory activity to analyze the distribution of beetle, mammal, and plant species (for datasets from North America) in the past (based on fossil records), determine whether the same species exist today, and compare the
A classroom/laboratory activity to explore the possible role of climate-related environmental factors in the timing of leaf-out in plants (specifically, red maple leaf-out in New England).  In this activity, students will create graphs by using
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