A while ago I designed an assignment for a lower high school science course based upon climate and weather. I thought it was a good assignment and it connects to a few resources I have recently discovern Climate Change] or some other reliable governmental organization.

The original assignment can be seen in this blog post here.
It has four/five parts:

  1. Explain the yearly trends for temperature and precipitation for the geographical region you have picked.
  2. State the weather for the region over the next week. Compare to the climactic expectations.
  3. State and explain the climate changes expected to occur for temperature and precipitation as predicted by the IPCC 4th assessment report or other reliable scientific community.
  4. Research, and state, the major land usage for the geographical region.
  5. Predict realistic effects the expected climactic changes could have on the regions environment and hence its economy, food production etc.

The assignment does require the student to understand what climate means. If they know, then finding graphs of precipitation and temperature is quite easy. Most major cities can be found at the weather network site or better yet [my opinion] the wunderground. Travel websites also have these.

The second set of data is also easy to find. Once again the obvious choice are weather websites, but local media outlets, online and traditional, will have this information.

The most difficult part of the assignment, in my opinion, challenges the student to find reliable, scientifically supported data about the regions expected climate changes. However, some excellent resources have become recently available.
The Fourth Assessment of the IPCC – Synthesis Report.
As well as the School of Geography and the Environment containing the UNDP Climate Change Country Profiles. An example of these country profiles can be found here.

Why discuss this topic now?

I have stumbled upon a number of articles that made me think of the assignment. The first was a report on the Oil Sands development occurring in Western Canada – Alberta to be exact. The article has been published by the UN and discusses the total destruction of the environment from Oil extraction. You can find the report here. I’ll actually embed: [if it works] I don’t want you to be able to ignore the article. Maude Barlow, Canadian and recent appointment to the UN on water issues described the Oil Sands as ‘Mordor’. It is embedded below:
Scraping Barrell

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

This article, along with a news article published by the Financial Post titled “Oil Sands players to lobby Obama” made a strong connection in my mind and made me think of that old assignment.
There was another article published as original research but I won’t discuss it here. It was generally higher a post-secondary/graduate level article assessing the degree to which observed climate changes in the Arctic and Antarctic were natural or anthropomorphic.

Hope these might be useful.
Cheers – and ride your bike to work!

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