Models for Climate Change

Here is a broad range of simple (ish) climate models suitable for relatively advanced students:

IPCC 2022 – Women and Climate Change

In this resource we will explore the links between two of the Sustainable Development Goals – gender equality, and climate action.

Sustainable development goals 5 and 13

Learning Objectives

  • To be able to explain how Climate Change disproportionately affects women.
  • To be able to give some examples of how women have a crucial role to play in adapting to or preventing climate change

According to the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report1  

Climate resilient development is facilitated by developing partnerships with traditionally marginalised groups, including women, youth, Indigenous Peoples, local communities and ethnic minorities

IPCC 20221 SPM.D.2

Salinisation-associated changes may disproportionately burden women responsible for securing drinking water and fuel, such as in the Indian Sundarbans.                 

IPCC 20221, Section 3.5.5.3

Changes in water-related hazards disproportionately impact vulnerable populations such as the poor, women, children, Indigenous Peoples, and the elderly in all locations, especially in the Global South.  

IPCC 20221, Chapter 4

Many countries and social groups most threatened by climate change have contributed the least to the problem and do not have the adequate resources to adapt. Water adaptation policies enabled through ethical co-production between holders of Indigenous Knowledge, local knowledge and technical knowledge; through cooperation and coordinated actions among multiple actors, including women and all marginalized groups, at various levels of governance is needed for effective transitions towards Climate Resilient Development.   

IPCC 20221, Chapter 4

Climate-induced water scarcity and supply disruptions disproportionately impact women and girls. The necessity of water collection takes away time from income-generating activities, child care, and education.

IPCC 20221, section 4.3.3

Although women are often depicted as victims of climate change-induced water scarcity, they are also proactive adaptation actors

IPCC 20221 section 4.8.3

Optional activity – read out these statements and explore what phrases such as water-related hazards, climate resilient development, adaptation, salinisation, Indian Sundarbans etc. mean.

Optional Activity – watch these clips3 from the gender equality day at COP26.

Read this extract from the Malala Fund report2. The Malala Fund is working for a world where every girl can learn and lead.

excerpt from Malala Fund climate change report

Summarise the information in the extract in the following table:

blank table

The Malala Fund estimates that in 2021 climate-related events will prevent at least four million girls in low and lower-middle-income countries from completing their education. If current trends continue, by 2025 climate change will be a contributing factor in preventing at least 12.5 million girls from completing their education each year.

Complete this knowledge organiser using your existing knowledge of extreme weather and climate change :

knowledge organiser

The Mahila Housing Sewa Trust (MHT)’s mission is to organize and empower women in poor communities to improve their habitat.

A quality habitat is a home with all basic services such as clean water, toilets, electricity, and adequate light and ventilation. It is a key financial asset that supports livelihoods, and makes the poor more resilient to heat stress, disease, and other hazards of climate change. Women understand that a strong neighbourhood is essential to upgrading individual homes. They know how to work together to bring much needed services in their under-served communities.

Watch this video:

  1. In Indian slums, why are women more affected by climate change than men?
  2. Why are women better placed than men to lead climate change adaptation?
  3. What simple technology was the woman in the film using to cool her home?

Watch this video

  1. At the edge of the Sahara, what problem were women facing because of climate change?
  2. What did the women do, to solve the problem?
  3. What subsequent benefits has this had for them?

Watch this video

  • For each of the three points made in the film, write a short paragraph explaining how women can make a difference to climate change.

Sources

  1. IPCC, 2022: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, M. Tignor, E.S. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem, B. Rama (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.ch)
  2. A greener, fairer future: Why leaders need to invest in climate and girls education, March 2021, the Malala Fund
  3. COP26 recordings https://unfccc-cop26.streamworld.de/webcast/presidency-event-advancing-gender-equality-in-clim

Core Maths – EVolution of vehicle sales

Resource produced in collaboration with MEI

Brief overview of session ‘logic’

  • Explore the infographic – what can be worked out from this information and what questions does it raise?
  • Look at trends in vehicle registrations
  • Look at proportions of types of newly registered vehicles over time – why has the percentage of petrol cars being registered increased from 2015 to 2020?
  • Do some calculations to show that the number of petrol cars being registered has decreased from 2015 to 2020.
  • Reflect upon the implications for misleading representations of data
  • Consider the implications of the ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 – what affect will this ban have on the proportions of car types being registered?
  • What questions does the increase in electric vehicles raise?

Mathematical opportunities offered

  • Interpretation of data, statistics, graphs, infographics in context
  • Critiquing graphs
  • Reading scales
  • Calculating percentages
  • Exploring proportions of quantities over time
  • Making conjectures about future proportions given available data
  • Analysing and comparing data in order to develop and present a conclusion.
Download the resources
  1. Session plan
  2. Presentation
  3. Student sheet

Key Stage 3 – EVolution of vehicle sales

Resource produced in collaboration with MEI

Brief overview of session ‘logic’

  • Explore the infographic – what can be worked out from this information and what questions does it raise?
  • Look at trends in vehicle registrations
  • Look at proportions of types of newly registered vehicles over time – why has the percentage of petrol cars being registered increased from 2015 to 2020?
  • Do some calculations to show that the number of petrol cars being registered has decreased from 2015 to 2020.
  • Reflect upon the implications for misleading representations of data
  • Consider the implications of the ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 – what affect will this ban have on the proportions of car types being registered?
  •  What questions does the increase in electric vehicles raise?

Mathematical opportunities offered

  • Interpretation of data, statistics, graphs, infographics in context
  • Critiquing graphs
  • Reading scales
  • Calculating percentages
  • Exploring proportions of quantities over time
  • Making conjectures about future proportions given available data
  • Analysing and comparing data in order to develop and present a conclusion.
Download the resources
  1. Session plan
  2. Presentation
  3. Student sheet

Core Maths – 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.

Key Stage 3 – 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

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).

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).

IPCC 2021 – Impacts of Polar Climate Change

According to the IPCC report for Policymakers “Human influence is very likely the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s and the decrease in Arctic sea ice area between 1979–1988 and 2010–2019 (about 40% in September and about 10% in March). There has been no significant trend in Antarctic sea ice area from 1979 to 2020 due to regionally opposing trends and large internal variability. Human influence very likely contributed to the decrease in Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover since 1950. It is very likely that human influence has contributed to the observed surface melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past two decades, but there is only limited evidence, with medium agreement, of human influence on the Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss.”1

The Impacts of climate change in Polar regions

Read page 2 of the polar regions fact sheet from the IPCC2.

Produce a spider diagram of all the suggested impacts that are predicted to occur in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Around those impacts suggest some of the negative consequences for humankind.

spider diagram polar climate change
impacts of polar climate change

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.10. Accessed 28th November 2021 at Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.ch)
  2. IPCC.ch. 2021. Regional fact sheet – Polar Regions. [online] Available at: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/factsheets/IPCC_AR6_WGI_Regional_Fact_Sheet_Polar_regions.pdf [Accessed 28 November 2021].

IPCC 2021 – Changing Polar Climate

According to the IPCC report for Policymakers “Human influence is very likely the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s and the decrease in Arctic sea ice area between 1979–1988 and 2010–2019 (about 40% in September and about 10% in March). There has been no significant trend in Antarctic sea ice area from 1979 to 2020 due to regionally opposing trends and large internal variability. Human influence very likely contributed to the decrease in Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover since 1950. It is very likely that human influence has contributed to the observed surface melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past two decades, but there is only limited evidence, with medium agreement, of human influence on the Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss.”1

NASA https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/ice-min-approach.html

The Arctic is largely sea ice with some parts of countries intruding

Sea ice typically covers about 14 to 16 million km2 in late winter in the Arctic

Antarctica

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-antarctica-k4.html

Antarctica is a CONTINENT with land mass under the ice, mountains, and volcanoes.

Antarctica is 14 million km2 PLUS 17 to 20 million km2 of sea ice in the Antarctic Southern Ocean in winter.

polar regional changes
  1. Using your knowledge of global warming explain why the four changes described above have occurred.
table - regional changes reasons

*Losing mass – this means that more ice melts than is gained via snowfall in a given year.

  1. Change two above suggests that there will be more precipitation (snowfall and rainfall) in Arctic and Antarctic regions. Complete the futures exercise below to consider what this change could mean for those regions.
    • What possible futures are there for the Arctic and Antarctic with increased precipitation?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
    • What probable futures are there for the Arctic and Antarctic with increased precipitation?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    • What preferable futures exist for these regions? Here you might want to consider the key role these regions play in regulating our global climate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Changes to the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet.

The graphic below shows Greenland Ice Sheet cumulative mass changes in gigatonnes (recently observed and projected by models under SSP1-2.6 and SSP5-8.5 scenarios) and equivalent sea level change (in metres). Maps show recent elevation changes (metres/year).

      • SSP1-2.6: Global CO2 emissions are cut severely, but not as fast, reaching net-zero after 2050. Temperatures stabilize around 1.8°C higher by the end of the century.
      • SSP5-8.5: Current CO2 emissions levels roughly double by 2050. The global economy grows quickly, but this growth is fuelled by exploiting fossil fuels and energy-intensive lifestyles. By 2100, the average global temperature is a scorching 4.4°C higher.
IPCC ice mass and sea level change
Source: IPCC2
  1. Using the graphs on ice mass change complete the table below.

SIMPLE TABLE

A gigaton is a billion tonnes. It is roughly equivalent to the mass all of the living mammals other than humans on earth.

  1. Which of the two areas, Greenland or Antarctica, will be most affected by climate change in 2100? Use data from the two graphs and maps to justify your view.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Projected climate changes in the Polar regions

Look carefully at the graphic below, it shows projected changes in the future (SSP5-8.5 scenario) in mean annual temperature and total precipitation at 2°C global warming compared to 1850–1900 for the Arctic (left) and Antarctic (right).

Answer the questions below:

projected polar climate change

Temperature

  1. What is the projected change for Greenland (G)?
  2. What is the projected change for Lapland (L)?
  3. What is the projected change for Siberia (S)?
  4. Which parts of the Arctic will suffer the most from temperature changes under the IPCC’s most extreme climate change scenario?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  5. What is the projected temperature change for the Antarctic Peninsula (P)?                                                                                                                                                            
  6. What is the projected temperature change at Vostok (V)?                                                                                                                                                            

Precipitation

  1. What is the projected change for Greenland?
  2. What is the projected change for Lapland?
  3. What is the projected change for Siberia?
  4. Which parts of the Arctic will suffer the most from precipitation changes under the IPCC’s most extreme climate change scenario?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  5. What is the projected precipitation change for the Antarctic peninsula?                                                                                                                                                            
  6. What is the projected precipitation change at Vostok?                                                                                                      
  7. Which areas are likely to suffer the most change, the oceans or the land masses?                                                                                                                                                            
  8. Conduct research online, why is it significant for ice melting that the oceans warm? (e.g. https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/why-are-glaciers-and-sea-ice-melting)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Extension

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – run the simulation at this website https://sealevel.nasa.gov/vesl/web/sea-level/slr-antarctica/.
Describe the changes that take place to try to explain them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

sea level change

Sources

  • 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.10. Accessed 28th November 2021 at Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.ch)
  • ch. 2021. Regional fact sheet – Polar Regions. [online] Available at: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/factsheets/IPCC_AR6_WGI_Regional_Fact_Sheet_Polar_regions.pdf [Accessed 28 November 2021].
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