Scotland’s Curriculum – Extreme Weather

Resource produced in collaboration with MEI

Brief overview of session ‘logic’

  • Do reports of extreme cold weather provide evidence that global warming is not happening?
  • Show the New York Times graphs of summer temperature distributions for the Northern Hemisphere for different periods.
  • Interrogate/critique these graphs
  • The distributions of temperatures are approximately Normal distributions and the mean and standard deviation both increase as the time period becomes more recent.
  • Use the dynamic bell curve to calculate probabilities of different temperatures in different time periods.
  • Despite the mean temperature increasing, the standard deviation also increasing means that the probability of extreme low temperatures increases.
  • Normal distributions and bell curves can explain a higher frequency of extreme cold weather despite global warming.

Mathematical opportunities offered

  • Interpretation of data, statistics, graphs, infographics in context
  • Critiquing graphs
  • Reading scales
  • Using standard form to write very large or very small numbers
  • Fitting a Normal distribution or bell curve to a graph
  • Exploring the effect of adjusting mean and standard deviation on a bell curve
  • Understanding that probabilities can be represented and calculated using areas
  • Analysing and comparing data in order to develop and present a conclusion.
Climate Change Quality Mark Content

IPCC 2021 – Comparing Arctic and Global temperatures – using Excel

According to the IPCC report for Policymakers “It is very likely that the Arctic has warmed at more than twice the global rate over the past 50 years1.

You are going to test this statement to see if it is true.

Resources

Arctic and global temperatures data spreadsheet

Tutorial: Using Formula in Excel

Tutorial: Creating Line Graphs in Excel

temperature data
  1. Contrast the results of your averages and the range for global air temperatures and those in the Arctic                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  2. Using the Change over time value in your table consider oif the statement “It is very likely that the Arctic has warmed at more than twice the global rate over the past 50 years” is true.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
climate change blank graph
  1. Complete the graph above which shows data on Global and Arctic temperature change from 1900 to 2020;
    • Add a title to the graph
    • Draw a curved line of best fit between the data shown for the start of each decade for the Global data
    • Draw a curved line of best fit between the data shown for the start of each decade for the Arctic data
    • Try to predict the future! Continue your line of best fit for both Global and Arctic lines on until 2100. To do so follow the recent tend and try to project that into the future.
    • What could change the future? Think about government policies relating to climate change and the future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Why is the Arctic warming faster that the rest of the globe?

Place the following information into a logical sequence to explain why the Arctic is warming faster that the global average:

Sources

  1. IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. P.3461. Accessed 28th November 2021 at Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.ch)
  2. Ecochard, K., 2021. NASA – What’s causing the poles to warm faster than the rest of Earth?. [online] Nasa.gov. Available at: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/warmingpoles.html Accessed 29 November 2021.
  3. The annual mean global and Arctic  temperature time series are provided by Dr. Muyin Wang. Values are the weighted average of all the non-missing, grid-box anomalies plus the absolute temperature. They are based on the monthly  global gridded data (5×5 grid box ) and the absolute temperature,   that has been developed by the Climatic Research Unit (University of East Angliaand NCAS) jointly with the Hadley Centre (UK Met Office).
Climate Change Quality Mark Content

IPCC 2021 – Comparing Arctic and Global temperatures

According to the IPCC report for Policymakers “It is very likely that the Arctic has warmed at more than twice the global rate over the past 50 years1.

You are going to test this statement to see if it is true.

temperature data
  1. Contrast the results of your averages and the range for global air temperatures and those in the Arctic                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  2. Using the Change over time value in your table consider oif the statement “It is very likely that the Arctic has warmed at more than twice the global rate over the past 50 years” is true.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
climate change blank graph
  1. Complete the graph above which shows data on Global and Arctic temperature change from 1900 to 2020;
    • Add a title to the graph
    • Draw a curved line of best fit between the data shown for the start of each decade for the Global data
    • Draw a curved line of best fit between the data shown for the start of each decade for the Arctic data
    • Try to predict the future! Continue your line of best fit for both Global and Arctic lines on until 2100. To do so follow the recent tend and try to project that into the future.
    • What could change the future? Think about government policies relating to climate change and the future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Why is the Arctic warming faster that the rest of the globe?

Place the following information into a logical sequence to explain why the Arctic is warming faster that the global average:

Sources

  1. IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. P.3461. Accessed 28th November 2021 at Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.ch)
  2. Ecochard, K., 2021. NASA – What’s causing the poles to warm faster than the rest of Earth?. [online] Nasa.gov. Available at: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/warmingpoles.html Accessed 29 November 2021.
  3. The annual mean global and Arctic  temperature time series are provided by Dr. Muyin Wang. Values are the weighted average of all the non-missing, grid-box anomalies plus the absolute temperature. They are based on the monthly  global gridded data (5×5 grid box ) and the absolute temperature,   that has been developed by the Climatic Research Unit (University of East Angliaand NCAS) jointly with the Hadley Centre (UK Met Office).
Climate Change Quality Mark Content

IPCC 2021 – Changing Climate Zones

According to the IPCC report for Policymakers “Changes in the land biosphere since 1970 are consistent with global warming: climate zones have shifted poleward in both hemispheres, and the growing season has on average lengthened by up to two days per decade since the 1950s North of the Tropic of Cancer1

  1. Complete the table below on the positives and negatives of the changes described above
table

Summary of changes to the Biosphere from the report2

  • Warming contributed to an overall spring advancement in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • There are increases in the length of the thermal growing season over much of the land surface since at least the mid-20th century. The thermal growing season is the length of time in a calendar year when temperatures are warm enough for agricultural activity.
  • Over the Northern Hemisphere as a whole, an increase of about 2.0 days per decade is evident for 1951–2018 with slightly larger increases north of 45°N.
  • Over North America, a rise of about 1.3 days per decade is apparent in the United States for 1900–2014 with larger increases after 1980.
  • Growing season length in China increased by at least 1.0 days per decade since 1960 .
  • Peak bloom dates for cherry blossoms in Kyoto, Japan have occurred progressively earlier in the growing season in recent decades. In 2021, peak bloom was reached on 26 March, the earliest since the Japan Meteorological Agency started collecting the data in 1953 and 10 days ahead of the 30-year average.3
  • Grape harvest dates in Beaune, France have also been earlier. Using harvest data for Beaune stretching back nearly 700 years it has been noted that from 1354 to 1987, grapes were on average picked from 28 September whereas during the last 31-year-long period of rapid warming from 1988 to 2018, harvests began 13 days earlier.4

2. Map the changes listed above on the appropriate regions on the world map below:

world map

Source – https://equal-earth.com/   

Changes in dates for various plants, crops and regions

IPCC AR6 phenology data

Image source: Adjusted from IPCC 1

  1. Add straight lines of best fit to each graph.
  2. What has happened to the date of the grape harvest in France? Use data to describe the change.
  3. Which graph shows the greatest change?
  4. Which graph shows the smallest change?
  5. How might these changes affect insect, bird and land animals? You could research these and consider migration, harvesting, hibernation and flowering times.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  6. How might these changes affect farmers and food supply?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

The change in growing season in the USA

Study the graph5 below:

USA growing season
  1. Complete the table below using information from the graph. Use the nearest WHOLE NUMBER available.
IPCC extreme weather table
  1. Explain which location has the greatest change in its growing season. Use data from the table above in your response.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  2. Make a list of advantages that this shift in growing season will bring to the USA.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Sources:
    1. IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. P.7. Accessed 28th November 2021 at Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.ch)
    2. IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. P.517. Accessed 28th November 2021 at Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.ch)
    3. Associated Press (author unknown), 2021. Climate crisis ‘likely cause’ of early cherry blossom in Japan. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/30/climate-crisis-likely-cause-of-early-cherry-blossom-in-japan [Accessed 28 November 2021]
    4. Mercer, C., 2021. Burgundy harvests getting earlier as vineyards heat up, says study – Decanter. [online] Decanter. Available at: https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/burgundy-harvests-earlier-study-423807/ [Accessed 28 November 2021].
    5. US EPA. 2021. Climate Change Indicators: Length of Growing Season | US EPA. [online] Available at: https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-length-growing-season [Accessed 28 November 2021].
Climate Change Quality Mark Content

How do CO₂ emissions link to global temperatures?

Royal Geographical Society

This resource links to B.4.1, FAQ5.4 and to Figure SPM.10 in the IPCC report of 2021. The aim of this resource is to answer the question how do CO emissions link to global temperatures?

It was written with the Royal Geographical Society with IBG

Climate Change Quality Mark Content

The carbon budget

A carbon budget is the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions permitted over a period of time to keep within a certain temperature threshold e.g. a 1.5°C target limit for global temperature rise.

It is tricky to estimate because a budget is influenced by core assumptions, chosen characteristics, and different variables (for example the amount of other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere). Read about the difficulties in estimating a budget on the Carbon Tracker webpage Carbon Budgets Explained. Carbon budgets are particularly tricky, because there is so little left in the budget if we are to stay under a 1.5°C level of warming – there is very little room for error in calculating the budget.

Mark Maslin neatly represents the pressing need to reduce CO₂ emissions in this interactive temporal pie chart Using up the carbon budget.

If global warming is to be held to a 1.5°C temperature rise, the current estimate (from Carbon Brief for the 1.5°C target) is that we have a range of 230-440 billion tonnes of CO₂ left (GtCO₂), from 2020 onwards[1]. Since 1751 the world has emitted over 1.5 trillion tonnes of CO₂.

  1. Create a pie chart to illustrate the historic carbon budget and the estimated remaining amount of carbon in the budget for the 1.5°C target. To complete this use the following steps.

a) 1000 kilograms is a tonne. 1 billion metric tonnes equal a gigatonne. 1 trillion tonnes equal 1000 gigatonnes. Standardise the total amount of CO₂ in the carbon budget by converting 440 billion tonnes and 1.5 trillion tonnes into GtCO₂.

b) Calculate the estimated total carbon budget. Take the upper estimate of how much carbon we have left in the budget (to emit) and add it to the amount emitted since 1751.

c) What proportion of your circle will be drawn per GtCO₂ by dividing 360° by your total carbon budget figure?

d) Draw the pie chart.

The idea of a carbon budget and the notion that Earth has a remaining amount before a target is missed is based on the near-linear relationship between cumulative CO₂ emissions (the impact on atmospheric concentrations) and the warming of the planet. In other words, as one increases so does the other. The IPCC report of 2021 confirmed that global temperatures rise in direct relation to cumulative emissions.

CO emissions and global warming

Scientist have investigated the correlation between CO₂ emissions and global warming. Table 1 in Appendix A contains data for CO₂ emissions and historic annual temperature change for the planet.

  1. Draw a line graph to illustrate the relationship between cumulative CO₂ emissions and global temperature.

There are 5 projected ‘pathways’ for future cumulative CO₂ emissions and temperature change; SSP1, SSP2, SSP3, SSP4, and SSP5 (standing for Shared Socio-economic Pathways). Currently the Earth is following the SSP2-4.5 or SSP3-7.0 scenarios. These pathways are sometimes also referred to as RCPs, Representative Concentration Pathways of CO₂. The bullet points below clearly highlight the preferable future path and, according to the Paris Agreement (by which 198 countries agreed to try to keep the rise in mean global temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably limit the increase to 1.5 °C), the only legal trajectory. 

 SSP1 the ‘green road’, honouring the Paris Agreement, by limiting global warming to 1.5°C

SSP2 ‘middle of the road’, some progress but environmental degradation

SSP3 ‘regional rivalry’, food and energy security are prioritised, strong environmental decline  

SSP4 inequality ‘a road divided’, environmental policies only focus on high-income areas

SSP5 fossil-fuel development taking ‘the highway’ business-as-usual, no-mitigation

Figure 2 in Appendix B is taken from the IPCC report. It shows cumulative CO₂ emissions since 1850 and °C temperature change with the 5 future SSP (Shared Socio-economic Pathways).

  1. Describe the relationship between cumulative CO₂ emissions and global warming. Be careful: emissions don’t necessarily determine the temperature of the Earth, read Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere – Balancing the Flow to learn more.
  1. Do cumulative CO₂ emissions cause annual mean global land-ocean temperatures to rise? Use data in your answer. 

Within your answer for question 2 there is variation in emissions by country. Some countries have historically contributed more than others to global warming. Table 2 in Appendix B gives data on CO₂ emissions in 1750 and 2019 for 6 countries.

  1. Create a line graph for cumulative CO₂ emissions for Canada, China, India, Kenya, the US, and the UK.
  1. Which country emitted the most CO₂ in 2019?
  1. Which country has had the greatest relative change between 1750 and 2019?

Further work

Exam-style question

Open the Global Carbon Atlas.

Using all the work you have completed answer the final question below. The instruction describe means you must give an account of the pattern you see in the world map, and how it changes.

  1. Press the play button at the bottom of the screen. Describe how the pattern of CO₂ emissions changes from 1960 to 2020.

[1] Carbon budgets are an estimate of the total quantity of CO₂equivalent emissions that can be allowed in order to maintain a 66% chance of staying within the Paris Agreement target of capping global warming at 1.5°C this century.

Appendix A

data

Appendix B

CO2 and temperature

Figure 2 is there a relationship between cumulative CO₂ emissions and the increase in global surface temperature? © The 2021 IPCC Working Group I report

CO2 emissions data

Answers

  1. The Washington Post explains that a gigaton is equivalent to a billion metric tonnes.

a) Standardise the total amount of CO₂ in the carbon budget into GtCO₂. 440bn tonnes and 1.5 trillion tonnes of CO₂ = 440 GtCO₂ and 1500 GtCO₂

b) 440 GtCO₂ and 1500 GtCO₂ = 1940 GtCO₂.

c) 360 ÷ 1940 = 0.18556701. Each GtCO₂ will be worth 0.18556701°.

2. As instructed.

  1. There is a strong relationship between CO₂ emissions and global warming. Both historical and future emission pathways show that as CO₂ increases as a gas in the atmosphere, global temperatures rise. When analysing the paleoclimate record this strong correspondence between temperature and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is equally evident over the past the past several hundred thousand years.
  2. Yes, cumulative CO₂ emissions cause annual mean global land-ocean temperature change. Figure 2 clearly shows the near linear relationship. If SSP1-1.9 (with a temperature increase under 2°C) is to be achieved, then world population will have to be held at 8.24 billion with CO₂ emissions being cut to net zero by 2050. 
  3. As instructed.
  4. Kenya emitted 449.09 million t in 2019.
  5. Column 5 from Table 2 is complete below.

8. As instructed.

Where is Climate Change most Apparent?

Royal Geographical Society
Climate Change Quality Mark Content

This is a data skills exercise linked to FAQ1.2 of the sixth assessment IPCC report of 2021. The aim of this resource is to answer the question: to what extent do impacts of climate change vary around the world? which you should be able to answer at the end of this resource. It was written with the Royal Geographical Society with IBG

Temporal change

Weather and climate are two separate phenomena that change over time. Read about the distinction on the Met Office webpage So what is weather, and what is climate?

  1. Robert Heinlein said, ‘climate is what you expect, weather is what you get’. What did he mean?
  2. What could you say about the climate over the last 10-years? 70-years? Go to the NASA webpage Climate Change: How Do We Know? to use evidence in your answer.

Imagine you had been monitoring land surface temperatures at the same location for the past 70 years. Consider what, if any, changes would have been recorded.

  1. The UK is a mid-latitude country in the northern hemisphere. Use Table 1 to draw a line graph for UK temperature since 1950. Have average annual temperatures increased in the UK since 1950? Your x axis should range from 1950 to 2020, and your y axis should range from -20°C to 25°C.
iceberg

Figure 1 a melting glacier in Scoresby Sound, Greenland © Andy Brunner. For more on Icelandic climate change watch After Ice

a) Is a line graph an appropriate graph?

b) What is the disadvantage of using annual mean data?

Spatial change

Varying changes to climate are becoming more apparent between geographic locations. The largest long-term warming trends have been recorded in the high northern latitudes e.g., Siberia, Iceland, Alaska and Canada, and the smallest warming trends over land are in Tropical regions.

4. Canada is a predominantly high latitude country in the northern hemisphere. Quantify the latitude range for a low-latitude, mid-latitude, and high latitude country.

5. Use Table 2 to add another line onto your graph charting average annual temperature for Canada.

6. India is a low-latitude country in the northern hemisphere. Use Table 3 to add a line onto the line graph charting average annual temperature for India.

7. Which country has experienced the greatest level of climate change: the UK, Canada, or India?

8. Explain why one country is experiencing greater warming than the others? Research different sources of evidence, such as Arctic Amplification and this article why is the Arctic warming faster than other parts of the world?

Canada regions

Figure 2 capital cities of Canada’s provinces and territories © WorldAtlas.com

It is important to appreciate that changes can occur locally within countries. These changes are on a smaller spatial scale and are often masked by country-to-country comparisons.

Alert in Nunavut, Canada, is the most northern continuously inhabited place on Earth. Lytton is in the southwestern province of British Colombia.

9. Use Table 4 and 5 to add the data onto your line graph from the Alert and Victoria weather stations.

a) Is there climate change variation in Nunavut (the Alert weather station)?

b) Is there climate change variation in British Colombia (the Lytton weather station)?

c) Which location has seen the greatest level of climate change between 1950 and 2020?

Further work

Access the following resources for suggested further work on where climate change is most apparent.

Exam-style question

Using all the work you have completed answer the final question below. The instruction to what extent means you must form and express a view as to the validity of a statement after examining the evidence available and different sides of an argument.

For further help access the Show Your Stripes website from the University of Reading. Select your region and country.  

10. To what extent does climate change vary around the world?

Appendix A

data

Answers

  1. Robert Heinlein conveyed the unexpected nature of weather, and its changeable behaviour over the short-term.
  2. Over the last 70-years the climate has changed dramatically due to an increase in the greenhouse effect. For millennia carbon dioxide (CO₂) had never risen above the 300 ppm (parts per million) but in 2015 atmospheric CO₂ concentration crossed the 400 ppm threshold, an unprecedented moment in the history of modern humans on this planet. Most of the warming has occurred in the past 40 years. The last decade, the 10 years to the end of 2019, have been confirmed as the warmest decade on record by three global agencies.
  3. As instructed.
  4. Low-latitude countries are found between the Equator 0° and 30° north and south. The mid-latitudes are found between 30° and 60° north and south. High latitude is between 60° north and south and the poles.
  5. As instructed.
  6. As instructed.
  7. From your graph it should be clear that between 1950 and 2020, the UK warmed by 1.32°C, whilst India changed by 1.37°C. Canada has experienced the greatest level of climate change with 2.41°C of warming. A source for comparison for your answers is the Met Office Climate change in the UK
  8. This is because Canada is a high northern latitude country. For more information search (Ctrl +F) ‘high latitude’ in chapter 3 of the IPCC report executive summary. The text explains that large and widespread differences are expected regionally for temperature extremes. Extracts from the chapter include:
  • Hot extremes are expected to occur at mid-latitudes in the warm season with increases of up to 3°C for 1.5°C of global warming, and 4°C for 2°C of global warming (a factor of 2)
  • At high latitudes greater extremes are predicted. In the cold season increases of up to 4.5°C at 1.5°C of global warming are expected, and 6°C for 2°C of global warming (a factor of 3)
  • The strongest warming of hot extremes is projected to occur in central and eastern North America, central and southern Europe, the Mediterranean region (southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Near East), western and central Asia, and southern Africa
  • Whilst the number of exceptionally hot days are expected to increase the most in the tropics, where interannual temperature variability is lowest. Extreme heatwaves are projected to emerge earliest in these regions and will become widespread there at 1.5°C global warming

The reason why the Arctic in particular is recording record temperature rises is due to the loss of Arctic sea-ice. When white, bright and reflective sea ice melts it exposes the darker ocean beneath. This amplifies the warming trend because the ocean absorbs more heat from the sun, which causes further melting. Loss of Arctic sea-ice is described as a positive feedback loop (of accelerating decline) and, ultimately, a tipping point for planet Earth.

  1. There is a large climate variation both within these Canadian provinces and between them.a) The Alert weather station has recorded temperature variation with a warming of 3.5°C. b) The Lytton weather station has seen temperature variation with a warming of 2.4°C. c) The Alert weather station has a temperature average of -17.4°C whilst Lytton has 9.4°C. When temperature change is compared between 1950 and 2020, the Alert weather station has experienced the greater level of variability. This shows climate change does vary around the world, indeed even within countries. It also adds further evidence to the argument that climate change is occurring faster in high-latitude regions.
  2. As instructed.

Finding the Amount of Warming by 2060

Human-induced warming is currently increasing at 0.02°C / year.

(a) If human-induced warming was at 0.9°C in 2010, what will it be in 2020?
[2 marks]

The graph shows how the rate of human-induced warming would fall between 2020 and 2060 if we reduce global emissions rapidly to zero over that period. Global temperatures will continue to rise as long as the rate of human-induced warming is greater than 0.

FINDING THE AMOUNT OF WARMING BY 2060 Graph

(b) Calculate the total increase in human-induced warming between the years 2020 and 2060.
[3 marks]

(c) Hence, calculate the level of human-induced warming in 2060.
[1 mark]

Graphing Rising Temperatures

The temperature-time graph from https://globalwarmingindex.org/ shows how the Earth’s global average monthly temperatures have varied from the year 1880. Throughout this question, monthly global temperatures refer to the difference between the temperature in a particular month and the average temperature for that calendar month over the period 1850-1879.

GRAPHING RISING TEMPERATURES

a) Which year contained the month in which global temperatures first exceeded 0.5°C above the 1850-79 average?
[1 mark]

b) Estimate a value for the highest recorded monthly global temperature since 1880 and
give the year in which it was recorded.
[1 mark]

c) Estimate a value for the average monthly global temperature between 1980 and 2000.
[2 marks]

d) What is the lowest monthly global temperature recorded since 2000?
[1 mark]

Rates of Human Induced Warming

The graph below shows how temperature has varied with time. The grey line shows monthly temperatures and the orange line shows an estimate of the contribution of human-induced warming to those temperatures over the same period.

GRAPHING RISING TEMPERATURES

a) Describe the difference between the lines showing monthly temperatures and human-
induced warming.
[2 marks]

b) In what year did human-induced warming reach 0.5K (°C)?
[1 mark]

c) Use the graph to estimate the rate of change of human-induced warming in the year
1970.
[3 marks]

d) Use the graph to estimate the rate of change of human-induced warming in the year
2000.
[3 marks]

e) What does the difference between the rate in 1970 and the rate in 2000 tell us about
how human-induced warming is changing?
[1 mark]

Climate Change Graph

 

You will need: 120 multicoloured lollipop sticks (at least 10 sticks each of 6 colours), PowerPoint, lollipop.xls, blue tack or similar

  1. Beforehand, mark on the middle of each lollipop stick. On each stick, write the year and the temperature for one of the data points in the spreadsheet (e.g. 1970 14.47), differentiating between global and CET data. Use a different coloured lollipop for each decade – so the 60s are all one colour etc.
  2. You’ll also need to print a blank graph – the spreadsheet supplied will work on A3 paper.
  3. Divide the students into two groups. Within each group, divide out the lollipop sticks.
  4. They should then work together to stick the sticks to the graphs in the right places.
  5. When they’ve finished, ask them to complete the table on the ppt.
  6. What does their graph show? What surprises them? What are the similarities and differences between the graphs?
  7. Next, they should take the sticks back off the graph and, within their groups, line the sticks up in temperature order with the coldest on the left and the warmest on the right.
  8. What does this show?