New resources added

Title: Cool the Earth

Description: Cool The Earth is a free, ready-to-run climate change assembly program that educates K-8 students and their families about climate change and inspires them to take simple actions to reduce their carbon emissions. The program is successful because it’s fun and empowering for the kids, and their enthusiasm is contagious!

Link: http://www.cooltheearth.org

Title: Center for Essential Science

Description: The Center for Essential Science (CES) is a research center committed to developing and evaluating educational materials for K-12 students that focus on some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Directed by Dr. Nancy Butler Songer, the center develops age appropriate visualization and modeling tools, curricular units and assessment instruments that serve as foundational, empirically based information on teaching and learning about the impacts of global climate change.

Link: http://essentialscience.umich.edu/essentialscience/home

Title: Carbon Connections

DescriptionCarbon Connections is a three-unit, online curriculum for grades 9-12 that was designed to improve your understanding of the carbon cycle and the science of Earth’s climate. Each of the three units includes five lessons. Each lesson includes focus questions, hands-on activities, virtual field trips, and interactive models. The concepts covered in the lessons span all science disciplines.

Link: http://carbonconnections.bscs.org

Title: Nature’s Notebook and Extension: Engaging Citizen-Scientists and 4-H Youth to Observe a Changing Environment

Description: Extension, with its access to long-term volunteers, has the unique ability to teach citizen scientists about the connection between climate variability and the resulting effects on plants, animals, and thus, humans. The USA National Phenology Network’s Nature’s Notebook on-line program provides a science learning tool for Extension’s Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, and Master Water Steward training programs, engaging volunteers to contribute to a scientifically rigorous data resource. We give examples of how Extension programs in Arizona, Florida, and Maine are currently incorporating Nature’s Notebook, and encourage use of the program in other Extension locations.

Link: http://www.joe.org/joe/2013february/iw1.php

Title: Crash course on climate change

Description: Before the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere was about 280 parts per million (ppm). This means that for every million molecules in the atmosphere, about 280 of them were CO2.

However, climate.nasa.gov shows that we’ve burned so much coal and oil that atmospheric CO2 is now approaching 400 ppm. It hasn’t been this high for millions of years. The last time Earth’s atmosphere had this much CO2, our species (and many others) hadn’t yet evolved.

Scientists performed experiments in the 1800s which showed that CO2 absorbs heat better than it absorbs visible light, and concluded that increasing CO2 would warm the planet. More recently, scientists have studied the ancient climate by analyzing rocks, fossils, and gas bubbles trapped in ancient ice. They repeatedly got the same answer: increasing CO2 has amplified the ice age cycle, caused temperatures to spike during the end-Permian extinction and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, and even thawed Snowball Earth.

If the Sun got brighter, that would also warm the planet. However, satellites haven’t seen a significant change in the Sun’s brightness since 1950. In fact, scientific studies accounting for many natural factors tend to suggest that the Earth would have cooled slightly since 1950 if we hadn’t burned so much coal and oil.

Link: http://dumbscientist.com/archives/crash-course-on-climate-change

Title: Climate Kids: NASA’s eye on the Earth

Description: Climate Kids is produced by the Earth Science Communications Team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Institute of Technology

Link: http://climatekids.nasa.gov

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