12. Changing Global Climate

Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide

Pathway: Climate

Past Climate ChangePolar Climate – Hot Deserts – Changing Global Climate

Lesson overview: In this lesson we look at this historical relationship between carbon dioxide and global temperature and the Greenhouse Effect before moving on to consider future greenhouse gas emission scenarios.  

Greenhouse gases warm the Earth through intercepting the flow of heat from the Earth into space. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has co-ordinated research that shows unequivocally that global climate has changed as a result of the impact of humans on the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and other aspects of the climate system and will continue to do so.  Neither the magnitude nor impacts of climate change will be uniformly felt around the world. As our understanding of predicted impacts continues to improve so does our ability to prepare for them.  Uncertainty stems from several sources – the response of governments, human populations, complex interactions and feedback effects between different components of the climate system. 

Learning objectives:

  • To be able to describe the major changes to temperature and CO2 over short and longer periods of time.

  • To be able to explain global warming and reasons why climate changes.

  • To evaluate what might happen to CO2 levels and temperature in the future.

Key Teaching Resources

Changing Global Climate PowerPoint
Changing Global Climate PowerPoint (easier)
Changing Global Climate Worksheet
Changing Global Climate Worksheet (easier)
Changing global climates homework

Teacher CPD/ Extended Reading

Changing Global Climate – More for Teachers

Alternative or Extension Resources

Changing climate: Climate stripes

Climate change graphs (basic)

Which regions have been affected the most by climate change (advanced)

Comprehension exercise – investigating the evidence for the impact of humans on climate (advanced)


Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide