The main focus of this module is on introducing what climate change is and why climate change and climate science matters. Addressing the climate topic in schools is a challenge as it is a phenomenon that cannot be perceived by the senses. The climate is characterized by meteorological indicators and we need to have meteorological data covering at least 30 years in order to say something about the climate. Thus, the data on climate are rather statistical in nature and we cannot physically sense the change in the present moment. Therefore, due to their age, students cannot have experience with the climate. The climate system that affects all of our lives is shaped by a combination of very different factors, making it a complex system that students need to understand, applied with adequate pedagogical techniques and state-of-the-art climate knowledge. 99.99% of research papers about climate change report that global warming has been triggered by human activities, exacerbated by natural processes. According to current estimates, the Earth’s average temperature is 1.8C higher than before the Industrial Revolution. This means major changes in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, accelerating species extinction and changes in the cycle of matter. This has a significant impact on people’s food supply and well-being, which is why changing circumstances are causing major societal shocks.
Learning objectives & outcomes
The learner understands what climate change is and why climate change and climate science matters.
By the end of this module, learners will:
- Understand the difference between weather and climate
- Be able to explain what factors are forming the climate system
- Demonstrate the ability to find information about climate change and to critically analyze the sources of information
- Demonstrate the conceptual understanding of paleoclimate and relevance of timeframe when considering the climate changes