Earth and Atmospheric Science: Making Change

This session aims to explore a range of ways in which impacts of increased greenhouse gases on Earth’s climate are being mitigated, including risk and environmental implications. Within this session, ensure learners recognise the importance of communicating and sharing strategies of mitigation to different audiences, supporting both hope and action. 

This is recommended as session four of the Key Stage Four Earth and Atmospheric Science Unit, exploring what changes are being made. 

KS4

Preparation

Green Skills

  • Data interpretation
  • Communication
  • Environmental Stewardship

Curriculum Links

Science

Earth and atmospheric science: 

  • Potential effects of, and mitigation of, increased levels of carbon dioxide and methane on the Earth’s climate

Geography

Changing weather and climate:

  • The causes, consequences of and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards
     

Step by step

Quick Starter Activity

Use this 3-minute video from NASA’s Earth science, explaining their work to improve our understanding of how carbon absorption and emission processes work in nature and how they could change in a warming world with increasing levels of emissions from human activities.

Preview image for the video "A breathing planet off balance".

Learners can create a mind map to include adaptation strategies against water scarcity, flooding and changes to agriculture, and mitigation strategies such as carbon capture, afforestation, alternative energy production and international and national agreements.

Main Activity Suggestions 

Suggestion 1 (Indoor)

UCAR: Solving the Carbon Dioxide Problem. Students find out about climate solutions for energy, food, industry, transportation and buildings, and plan how to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 °C.

Suggestion 2 (Indoor)

Royal Meteorological Society: Mitigation Strategies. This bank of resources explores the critical question 'Should all countries have the same goals in their climate policy?'

Suggestion 3 (Indoor)

ENGAGE: Sinking island. An activity where students advise the low-lying island nation Kiribati, to decide whether the biggest polluters should pay for land for its vulnerable islanders to escape to.

Top Tips

This session guidance provides a range of international examples, but you may wish to choose local examples of climate mitigation and adaptations that are relevant for students, which they can more directly relate to. For example, The Flood Hub explores how soft engineering was used to reduce flooding in Cumbria. Local councils or environmental groups are a good place to start to find out more about what is going on in your area.