Impact of Climate Change on Water Supplies

Questions to consider: What is meant by water security?
How does climate change lead to an increase in water insecurity?
Using a case study, explain one way a country has responded to the threat of water insecurity.

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WG2 Chapter 3, Figure 7. The impact of climate change on renewable groundwater resources by the 2050s, for a low emissions scenario. The map also shows the human vulnerability index, which is only defined for areas where the groundwater recharge is projected to decrease by at least 10% relative to 1961-1990.

Summary:

  • About 80% of the world’s population already suffers serious threats to its water security, as measured by indicators including water availability, demand and pollution.
  • Climate change is predicted to lead to increased precipitation variability and decreased water storage in snow and ice. In turn, this will lead to increased variability of river flow (including both flooding and drought) which will in turn lead to a less reliable surface water supply.
  • Each degree of warming is projected to expose an additional 7% of the world population to a 20% or more reduction in their renewable water resources.
  • By 2050, up to 1 billion people could live in cities with perennial water shortages (less than 100 litres of sustainable surface and groundwater flow per person per day).

Case Studies

Water Saving Irrigation in China

Irrigation in the Upper East Region, Northern Ghana

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Further Information

How will the availability of water resources be affected by climate change?

How should water management be modified in the face of climate change?

Freshwater-related risks of climate change increase significantly with increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable surface water and groundwater resources will be reduced significantly in most dry subtropical regions. Surface and ground water availability has an impact on agriculture (for food and livestock food production), energy production (with a direct impact on hydro-electric power production and crop growth for bioenergy crops as well as on the water cooling for most power plants), domestic water supply and sanitation and freshwater ecosystems.

How will the availability of water resources be affected by climate change?
WG2 FAQ3.2

Climate models project decreases of renewable water resources in some regions and increases in others, albeit with large uncertainty in many places. Broadly, water resources are projected to decrease in many mid-latitude and dry subtropical regions, and to increase at high latitudes and in many humid mid-latitude regions. Even where increases are projected, there can be short-term shortages due to more variable streamflow (because of greater variability of precipitation), and seasonal reductions of water supply due to reduced snow and ice storage. Availability of clean water can also be reduced by negative impacts of climate change on water quality; for instance the quality of lakes used for water supply could be impaired by the presence of algae producing toxins.

In the future, groundwater may be a more reliable water supply than the surface water supply. However, this is only sustainable where, over the long term, withdrawals remain well below recharge, while care must also be taken to avoid excessive reduction of groundwater outflow to rivers. The percentage of the projected global population that will suffer from a decrease of renewable groundwater resources of more than 10% between 1980 and 2080 is projected to be between 24-38%. For each degree of global mean temperature rise, an additional 4% of the global land area is projected to suffer a groundwater resources decrease of more than 30% and an additional 1% to suffer a decrease of more than 70%.

How should water management be modified in the face of climate change?
WG2 FAQ 3.3

Managers of water utilities and water resources have considerable experience in adapting their policies and practices to the weather. But in the face of climate change, long-term planning (over several decades) is needed for a future that is highly uncertain. A flexible portfolio of solutions that produces benefits regardless of the impacts of climate change (“low-regret” solutions) and that can be implemented adaptively, step by step, is valuable because it allows policies to evolve progressively, thus building on – rather than losing the value of – previous investments. Adaptive measures that may prove particularly effective include rainwater harvesting, conservation tillage, maintaining vegetation cover, planting trees in steeply-sloping fields, mini-terracing for soil and moisture conservation, improved pasture management, water re-use, desalination, and more efficient soil and irrigation-water management. Restoring and protecting freshwater habitats, and managing natural floodplains, are additional adaptive measures that are not usually part of conventional management practice.

Water Saving Irrigation in China

Water-saving irrigation (low pressure pipes, spray irrigation and micro or drip irrigation) has enhanced climate change adaptation capacity, improved ecosystem services, and promoted regional sustainable development in China.

Per capita, freshwater availability in China is among the lowest in the world and increasingly in short supply.  China’s agriculture currently accounts for 65% of total annual water consumption. With climate change, population growth and a growth in non-agricultural water consumption, China’s agriculture could be faced with a severe shortage of water resources.

Water-saving irrigation, in particular micro-irrigation which drips water directly onto the roots of plants, is one effective measure to deal with water scarcity and food security issues. Through water-saving irrigation practices, the water saved from 2007-2009 was equivalent to 5.6%-11.8% of the national total water consumption.

In addition, about 21.83-47.48 Mt CO2 emissions were saved (compared to an annual total emission of 6786 Mt CO2 in 2007). Therefore, the positive benefits of water saving irrigation have included mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable development.

 200720082009
Water saved (Btu2)19.37-40.8619.86-41.5522.58-57.25
Energy saved (Mt)2.92-6.393.08-6.723.57-7.73
CO2 emission reduction (Mt)6.66-14.587.02-15.318.15-17.59

In recent years, a rise in precipitation and temperature has led to the melting of glaciers and expansion of inland high mountain lakes, contributing to alpine grassland degradation in Northern Tibet. Among many grassland protection measures, alpine grassland water saving irrigation measures could be effective in redistributing and making full use of increased precipitation and lake water in the dry period. A three-year demonstration of alpine grassland water saving irrigation measures showed that alpine grassland primary productivity nearly doubled while the number of plant species increased from 91 to 129, helping to protect and restore the alpine grassland ecosystem and ecosystem services and to promote regional, socioeconomically sustainable development.

Additional Source:

Image credit: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_East_Region#/media/File:Ghana-karte-politisch-upper-east.png

Cost-effectiveness analysis of water-saving irrigation technologies based on climate change response: A case study of China, X. Zou, Y. Li, R Cremades, Q. Gao, Y. Wan and X. Qin, 2013, Agricultural Water Management, 129, 9-20.

Irrigation in the Upper East Region, Northern Ghana

The Upper East Region of northern Ghana has, since colonial times (1904-1957), been the poorest part of the country. The area suffers from difficult semi-arid climatic conditions, relatively high population density and patterns of underdevelopment, which are the result of discriminatory colonial and post-colonial policies.  Climate change (a decrease in precipitation, increase in temperature and evapotranspiration and a shift in the rainy season) and land degradation have considerably altered the conditions for rain-fed agriculture in Northern Ghana. Furthermore, population pressure has led to continuous farming of the available agricultural lands causing land degradation. Crop failure and decreasing yields that result from these environmental changes have caused further impoverishment. In the past, youth often opted for migration to Ghana’s wealthier south, in order to supplement meagre agricultural livelihoods.

Since the mid-1990s there has been a farmer led initiative to develop shallow groundwater irrigation (SGI) for vegetable gardening of tomatoes, onions and peppers. This development has helped to ameliorate poverty and to reverse rural-urban migration.

However, while the irrigators were initially able to profit from the development of good road access to northern Ghana and an increasing demand for vegetables in Ghana’s south, many now frequently meet with market failure. The sale of fresh tomatoes is met with stiff competition from small-scale farmers from neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ghana’s market is flooded with cheap tomato paste from countries where the production of tomatoes is highly subsidised. Global and regional competition has started to render SGI, developed as a means to locally adapt to environmental change, increasingly risky. As markets become as unreliable as the rains, Ghanaian farmers now face the uphill task of dealing simultaneously with global climate change and globalisation.

Additional Source:

Laube, Wolfram; Awo, Martha; Schraven, Benjamin (2008) : Erratic rains and erratic markets: Environmental change, economic globalisation and the expansion of shallow groundwater irrigation in West Africa, ZEF Working Paper Series, No. 30, http://nbnresolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0202-20080911309
There is a video about managing water resources at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9BB0XdRxEA

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Ecosystem Feedbacks from Carbon and Water Cycle Changes

Questions to consider:
State three factors which would cause a change to the Amazonian Forest Ecosystem.
Explain the impact of the change to the Amazonian Forest Ecosystem
When looking at the effect of climate change on ecosystems, why does the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere need to be considered as well as temperature change.

carbon, water and nutrient cycle diagram

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Summary:

  • Climate change can affect terrestrial and marine ecosystems which in turn has impacts on both the water and carbon cycles and then feeds back to the climate.
  • Direct human influence on vegetation can also lead to impacts on the climate, through the energy, water and carbon cycles.
  • Both changes in carbon dioxide and changes in climate have impacts on vegetation.
  • The interactive effects of elevated CO2 and other global changes (such as climate change, nitrogen deposition and biodiversity loss) on ecosystem function are extremely complex.
  • Extreme weather events can have long lasting impacts on vegetation and the carbon and water cycles.

Case Studies

Vegetation changes in the Amazon basin

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Further Information

How do land-use and land-cover changes cause changes in climate?

What are the non-greenhouse gas effects of rising carbon dioxide on ecosystems?

The Carbon Dioxide fertilisation effect

A Possible Amazon Basin Tipping Point

In general, climate exerts a dominant control over the distribution of terrestrial vegetation and surface properties that in turn affects the local climate by changing the local atmospheric water, Carbon and energy budgets. It has been hypothesized that these vegetation–climate feedbacks can explain shifts of vegetation through time: Firstly, increased transpiration may result in more precipitation, which in turn increases plant productivity, which amplifies transpiration further. Secondly, increased productivity leads to more canopy cover, which is darker (lower albedo) than snow and bare soil. This results in higher temperatures on the above ground parts of individual plants, thus also amplifying plant productivity.

The combined effects of a warming climate, higher levels of CO2, land-use change and increased Nitrogen availability may be responsible for primary productivity increases in many parts of the world. Enhanced productivity can lead to shifts in albedo and transpiration, which feed back to the water cycle through heat fluxes and precipitation.

Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations affect ecosystems directly including through biological and chemical processes such as the carbon dioxide fertilisation effect. Plants can respond to elevated CO2 by opening their stomata less to take in the same amount of CO2 or by structurally adapting their stomatal density and size, both potentially reducing transpiration which increases the water efficiency of the plants but reduces the flow of water vapour, and the energy that goes with it, to the atmosphere. Paleo records over the Late Quaternary (past million years) show that changes in the atmospheric CO2 content between 180 and 280 ppmv had ecosystem-scale effects worldwide.

The direct effect of CO2 on plant physiology, independent of its role as a greenhouse gas, means that assessing climate change impacts on ecosystems and hydrology solely in terms of global mean temperature rise is an oversimplification. A 2°C rise in global mean temperature, for example, may have a different net impact on ecosystems depending on the change in CO2 concentration accompanying the rise: If a small change in CO2 causes a 2°C rise, or, if other greenhouse gases are mainly responsible for the rise, the vegetation response will be different to a 2°C rise triggered by a large increase in CO2.

Vegetation cover can be affected by climate change, with forest cover potentially decreasing (e.g. in the tropics) or increasing (e.g. in high latitudes). In particular, the Amazon forest has been the subject of several studies, generally agreeing that future climate change would increase the risk of tropical forest being replaced by seasonal forest or even savannah. The increase in atmospheric CO2 reduces the risk, through an increase in the water efficiency of plants.

Direct human changes to the land cover can also have impacts on the carbon and water cycles, as well as on the Earth’s energy balance, through changes in surface albedo, transpiration and evaporation.

The coupling processes between terrestrial Carbon, Nitrogen and hydrological processes are extremely complex and far from well understood.

The effect of climate extremes on vegetation and the carbon and water cycles
Extreme events such as heatwaves, droughts and storms can cause vegetation death, fires and subsequent insect infestations which actually lead to a net output of carbon from ecosystems. For example, forests are characterized by the large biomass carbon stocks, which are vulnerable to wind damage, storms, ice storms, frost, drought, fire and pathogen or pest outbreaks.  Trees take a long time to regrow, so the recovery times for forest biomass lost through extreme events are particularly long. Therefore, the effects of climate extremes on the carbon balance in forests are both immediate and lagged, and potentially long-lasting. Climate extremes may also trigger processes that decrease the turnover rate of some carbon pools and lead to additional long-term sequestration in these pools. A well-known example is charcoal created in fires, which generally persists longer in soils than leaf litter.

During the European 2003 heatwave, it was the lack of precipitation (and soil moisture) rather than the high temperatures which was the main factor limiting vegetation growth in the temperate and Mediterranean forest ecosystems.

Further Links:

There is a nice, short summary article at http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/03/new-scientific-papers-on-plants-and-carbon-dioxide/
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v500/n7462/fig_tab/nature12350_F2.html An overview of how carbon flows may be triggered, or greatly altered, by extreme events including extreme precipitation.

Figure 1 from http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/9/11/8624/htm shows a schematic view of the components of the climate system, their processes and interactions.

Ocean related feedback exists between climate variability, the water cycle and the carbon cycle.  http://nasa-information.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/ocean-earth-system.html
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/703470main_InfoGraphic.jpg  An infographic showing the limits to vegetation growth from soil nutrient availability.

A figure showing the ecosystem processes and feedbacks triggered by extreme climate events. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v500/n7462/fig_tab/nature12350_F1.html

How do land-use and land-cover changes cause changes in climate?
WG2 FAQ 4.1

Land use change affects the local as well as the global climate. Different forms of land cover and land use can cause warming or cooling and changes in rainfall, depending on where they occur in the world, what the preceding land cover was, and how the land is now managed. Vegetation cover, species composition and land management practices (such as harvesting, burning, fertilizing, grazing or cultivation) influence the emission or absorption of greenhouse gases. The brightness of the land cover affects the fraction of solar radiation that is reflected back into the sky, instead of being absorbed, thus warming the air immediately above the surface. Vegetation and land use patterns also influence water use and evapotranspiration, which alter local climate conditions. Effective land-use strategies can also help to mitigate climate change.

What are the non-greenhouse gas effects of rising carbon dioxide on ecosystems?
WG2 FAQ 4.2

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an essential building block of the process of photosynthesis. Simply put, plants use sunlight and water to convert CO2 into energy. Higher CO2 concentrations enhance photosynthesis and growth (up to a point), and reduce the water used by the plant. This means that water remains longer in the soil or recharges rivers and aquifers. These effects are mostly beneficial; however, high CO2 also has negative effects, in addition to causing global warming. High CO2 levels cause the nitrogen content of forest vegetation to decline and can increase their chemical defences, reducing their quality as a source of food for plant-eating animals. Furthermore, rising CO2 causes ocean waters to become acidic, and can stimulate more intense algal blooms in lakes and reservoirs.

The Carbon Dioxide fertilisation effect
WG1 Box 6.3

Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations lead to higher leaf photosynthesis and reduced canopy transpiration, which in turn lead to increased plant water use efficiency and reduced fluxes of latent heat from the surface to the atmosphere. The increase in leaf photosynthesis with rising CO2, the so-called CO2 fertilisation effect, plays a dominant role in terrestrial biogeochemical models to explain the global land carbon sink, yet it is one of most unconstrained process in those models.

Field experiments provide a direct evidence of increased photosynthesis rates and water use efficiency (plant carbon gains per unit of water loss from transpiration) in plants growing under elevated CO2. These physiological changes translate into a broad range of higher plant carbon accumulation in more than two-thirds of the experiments and with increased net primary productivity (NPP) of about 20 to 25% at double CO2 from pre-industrial concentrations. Since the last IPCC report, new evidence is available from long-term Free-air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments in temperate ecosystems showing the capacity of ecosystems exposed to elevated CO2 to sustain higher rates of carbon accumulation over multiple years. However, FACE experiments also show the diminishing or lack of CO2 fertilisation effect in some ecosystems and for some plant species. This lack of response occurs despite increased water use efficiency, also confirmed with tree ring evidence

Nutrient limitation is hypothesized as primary cause for reduced or lack of CO2 fertilisation effect observed on NPP in some experiments. Nitrogen and phosphorus are very likely to play the most important role in this limitation of the CO2 fertilisation effect on NPP, with nitrogen limitation prevalent in temperate and boreal ecosystems, and phosphorus limitation in the tropics. Micronutrients interact in diverse ways with other nutrients in constraining NPP such as molybdenum and phosphorus in the tropics. Thus, with high confidence, the CO2 fertilisation effect will lead to enhanced NPP, but significant uncertainties remain on the magnitude of this effect, given the lack of experiments outside of temperate climates.

A Possible Amazon Basin Tipping Point
WG2 Box 4.3

Since the last assessment report of the IPCC (AR4), our understanding of the potential of a large-scale, climate-driven, self-reinforcing transition of Amazon forests to a dry stable state (known as the Amazon “forest dieback”) has improved. Modelling studies indicate that the likelihood of a climate-driven forest dieback by 2100 is lower than previously thought, although lower rainfall and more severe drought is expected in the eastern Amazon. There is now medium confidence that climate change alone (that is, through changes in the climate envelope, without invoking fire and land use) will not drive large-scale forest loss by 2100 although shifts to drier forest types are predicted in the eastern Amazon.

Meteorological fire danger is projected to increase. Field studies and regional observations have provided new evidence of critical ecological thresholds and positive feedbacks between climate change and land-use activities that could drive a fire mediated, self-reinforcing dieback during the next few decades. There is now medium confidence that severe drought episodes, land use, and fire interact synergistically to drive the transition of mature Amazon forests to low-biomass, low-statured fire-adapted woody vegetation. Most primary forests of the Amazon Basin have damp fine fuel layers and low susceptibility to fire, even during annual dry seasons. Forest susceptibility to fire increases through canopy thinning and greater sunlight penetration caused by tree mortality associated with selective logging, previous forest fire, severe drought, or drought-induced tree mortality. The impact of fire on tree mortality is also weather-dependent. Under very dry, hot conditions, fire-related tree mortality can increase. Under some circumstances, tree damage is sufficient to allow light-demanding, flammable grasses to establish in the forest understorey, increasing forest susceptibility to further burning. There is high confidence that logging, severe drought, and previous fire increase Amazon forest susceptibility to burning. Landscape level processes further increase the likelihood of forest fire. Fire ignition sources are more common in agricultural and grazing lands than in forested landscapes, and forest conversion to grazing and crop lands can inhibit regional rainfall through changes in albedo and evapotranspiration or through smoke that can inhibit rainfall under some circumstances. Apart from these landscape processes, climate change could increase the incidence of severe drought episodes.

If recent patterns of deforestation (through 2005), logging, severe drought, and forest fire continue into the future, more than half of the region’s forests will be cleared, logged, burned or exposed to drought by 2030, even without invoking positive feedbacks with regional climate, releasing 20±10 Pg of carbon to the atmosphere. The likelihood of a tipping point being reached may decline if extreme droughts (such as 1998, 2005, and 2010) become less frequent, if land management fires are suppressed, if forest fires are extinguished on a large scale, if deforestation declines, or if cleared lands are reforested. The 77% decline in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon with 80% of the region’s forest still standing demonstrates that policy-led avoidance of a fire-mediated tipping point is plausible.

WG2 Chapter 4, Figure 8.
The forests of the Amazon Basin are being altered through severe droughts, land use (deforestation, logging), and increased frequencies of forest fire. Some of these processes are self-reinforcing through positive feedbacks, and create the potential for a large-scale tipping point. For example, forest fire kills trees, increasing the likelihood of subsequent burning. This effect is magnified when tree death allows forests to be invaded by grasses, which are more flammable. Deforestation provides ignition sources to flammable forests, contributing to this dieback. Climate change contributes to this tipping point by increasing drought severity, reducing rainfall and raising air temperatures, particularly in the eastern Amazon Basin.

Vegetation changes in the Amazon basin

WG2 Chapter 4, Figure 8. The forests of the Amazon Basin are already being altered through severe droughts, changes in land use (deforestation, logging), and increased frequencies of forest fire. Some of these processes are self-reinforcing through positive feedbacks, and create the potential for a large-scale tipping point. For example, forest fire kills trees, increasing the likelihood of subsequent burning. This effect is magnified when tree death allows forests to be invaded by flammable grasses. Deforestation provides ignition sources to flammable forests, contributing to this dieback. Climate change contributes to this tipping point by increasing drought severity, reducing rainfall and raising air temperatures, particularly in the eastern Amazon Basin.

There is a high risk that the large magnitudes and high rates of climate change this century will result in abrupt and irreversible regional-scale changes to terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, especially in the Amazon and Arctic, leading to additional climate change.

There are plausible mechanisms, supported by experimental evidence, observations, and climate model simulations, for the existence of ecosystem tipping points in the rainforests of the Amazon basin. Climate change (temperature and precipitation changes) alone is not projected to lead to abrupt widespread loss of forest cover in the Amazon during this century. However, a projected increase in severe drought episodes, related to stronger El Niño events, together with land-use change and forest fires, would cause much of the Amazon forest to transform to less dense, drought- and fire-adapted ecosystems. This would risk reducing biodiversity in an important ecosystem, and would reduce the amount of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. It would also reduce the amount of evaporation, increasing the warming locally. Large reductions in deforestation, as well as wider application of effective wildfire management would lower the risk of abrupt change in the Amazon.

Amazonian forests were estimated to have lost 1.6 PgC and 2.2 PgC following the severe droughts of 2005 and 2010, respectively.

A Possible Amazon Basin Tipping Point

Deforestation, the water cycle and the carbon cycle in the Amazon – learning ideas related to this.

Additional source:

Climate extremes and the carbon cycle, M. Reichstein, M. Bahn, P. Ciais, D. Frank, M. Mahecha, S. Seneviratne,.J. Zscheischler, C. Beer, N. Buchmann, D. Frank, D. Papale, A. Rammig, P. Smith, K. Thonicke, M. van der Velde, S. Vicca, A. Walz & M. Wattenbach, 2013, 500, Nature, 287-295.

Cool Geography

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IPCC Updates for A Level Geography

Climate Change Updates

This resource was commended by the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers, 2016.

Evidence from the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report: for A level Geography Teachers

Factsheets:

1. The Changing Carbon Cycle

– The ocean’s biological pump

2. The Changing Water Cycle

– Changes to groundwater in Uganda

– The mass budgets of Himalayan glaciers

3. Carbon Cycle Feedbacks

– Carbon release from the Arctic

4. Ecosystem Feedbacks from Carbon and Water Cycle Changes

– Vegetation changes in the Amazon Basin

5. Tipping Points: Critical Thresholds for Climate Change

– Summer Arctic sea-ice

6. Impact of Climate Change on Water Supply 

– Water saving irrigation in China
– Upper East Region, Northern Ghana

7. Sea Level Change

– Flood protection in the Netherlands
– Flood protection for London: the Thames barrier

8. Country by Country Emissions of Greenhouse Gases

– Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in China
– Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Germany
– Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the USA
– Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Poland

9. Mitigation Strategies

– The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme
– Developing the Indian solar industry

10. Adaptation Strategies  

– The impact of three urban policies in Paris on climate change adaptation and mitigation

Glossary

Units

Further information about the carbon and water cycles, and wider support for GCSE and A level geography can be downloaded from www.rgs.org/schools.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures, tables and Frequently Asked Questions referenced in this booklet may be downloaded from the IPCC website.

IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Working Group III Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change.

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IPCC 2013 Figures

Some Figures and Tables from the IPCC 2013 Fifth Assessment Report

WG1 – The Physical Science Basis

Copyright for all figures:

IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

WG2- Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Copyright for all figures:

IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

WG3 – Mitigation of Climate Change

Copyright for all figures:

IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Working Group III Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Climate Glossary

Select a letter to view the terms:

Climate for Classrooms

Resources to support the teaching and learning of climate change

Our changing climate will impact at the global, national and local scales. Through some of the latest scientific data and projections, Climate4classrooms provides curriculum linked teaching resources about climate change for pupils.

Resources include:

  • Data sets showing the latest global and national climate predictions
  • Climate science brought to life by the experts
  • Case studies investigating global, national and local impacts and solutions
  • Guidance for teachers on using the resources

The resources in this section have been developed in collaboration with climate scientists and using data from the latest research, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

About climate change – some in depth answers to key questions such as:

What is Climate Change?
What causes climate change?
The evidence for climate change
How do we predict the future?
What will the future look like?
How is your temperature changing?
How are your seasons changing?
Changes in hot days and nights
How will precipitation change?
Climate change in your community,
Mitigation and adaptation.

UK climate data. You can find climate graphs for other countries here.

glossary of climate change terms.

Teaching Resources

Teaching resources covering the following topics can be found at https://www.rgs.org/schools/teaching-resources/climate-4-classrooms/

Climate Change Schools’ Project Resources

craft modelThe Climate Change Schools Resources were developed by the Climate Change Schools Project, based at the then Science Learning Centre in Durham and led by Krista McKinzey. A large number of teachers and schools in North East England were involved in their development.

They have subsequently been updated by the Royal Meteorological Society.

 

Climate Change Teaching Resources for Schools

Resources for KS2/ upper primary

Resources for KS3 (some can also be used at KS4/ GCSE)

Resources for A level/ more advanced students and teacher CPD

 

Climate Literate person;

  • Understands the essential principles of Earth’s climate system and knows how to assess scientifically credible information about climate,
  • Communicates about climate and climate change in a meaningful way,
  • Can make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate.

Country Background Information

Country Background Information

Australia
Bangladesh
Bangladesh
China
Europe
India
Maldives
Nigeria
Russian Federation
USA
Venezuela

Climate Change Negotiations for Schools

Simulating a world climate change conference

Guidance for Teachers

  • Notes for teachers – this contains everything you need to know to run the activity. Start here!
  • Curriculum Links
  • Print:
    Pack 1 (double sided if possible) – note these are personalised;
    Pack 2 (table flags, must be printed in colour, could be laminated), or as Pack2b names (which can be printed in black and white).
    Pack 3 (sticky labels for printing on standard 8 row label sheets or print on paper and use school lanyards),
    Optional Pack 4 (country fact sheets for reference in class),
    Pack 5 for Module 4, Market Places.
  • PowerPoint slides for use in all modules. Edit this before use to assign students to each country.

Please let us know if you have used these resources by emailing education@rmets.org. It would be great if you could also tell us which year group you used it with, how many students there were and how it went. This will help us refine it in the future.

Module 1 – Introduction

Module 2 – homework

Module 4

Module 5

Module 6

Useful Tools:

Acknowledgements

Silver Geographical Association Publishers Award 2018This work was funded by the Royal Meteorological Society and is supported by Rimini Protokoll, based on their theatre production for DeutschesSchauspielHausHamburg: World Climate Change Conference , 2014.

We are delighted that this resource has been awarded a Silver award by the Geographical Association. The citation given reads “Simulating a world climate change conference is a free, online and multimedia resource, relevant for both GCSE and A level specifications. It provides a wealth of high-quality, sophisticated and up-to-date materials including video input from one of the British delegates to the Paris climate talks. The judges felt that the quality of the resource would enable teachers to confidently set up an excellent simulation for their classes.”

This resource has also been Highly Commended by the Scottish Association for Geography Teachers.

You may also be interested in the higher level version, not specifically for schools, created by Climate Interactives using the CRoads model and the model climate conferences for secondary schools run by InterClimate.org in local council chambers.

David Warrilow, UK representative to the Paris negotiations, has published this article: Science and the international climate negotiations

stripes Europe

Climate Change Resources

Summary of Weather and Climate links in the KS3 2014 National Curriculum (England).

   Curriculum LinksOther useful resources
Module 1 – Climate Change Nuts and BoltsScheme of WorkGreenhouse GasesGeography, ChemistryClimate Change Resources
 RSC resourcesBackground info for teachersGeographyClimate, Climate Change and Climate Engineering
  Scheme of Work  
  Leaves as Thermometers  
  Sediment Core Image  
  Sediment Core Key  
  Tree Ring Images  
  Teacher Information Sheet – Ozone  
  Ozone Layer Questions  
Module 2 – Do not believe the hype .. or Should IScheme of Work Geography, Chemistry 
 Student Challenge Sheet   
 Persuasive Presentation – Climate Change  Climate Change Negotiations Resource
 Climate Change ScepticismTeachers’ GuideGeography, Chemistry, Combined Science 
  Debate Card 1  
  Debate Card 2  
  Climate Change Scepticism PowerPoint  
Module 3 – Climate Change all around me (Indicators)Scheme of Work Peer AssessmentGeography,  ChemistryClimate Change in the UK
Module 4 – so what (Impacts)Scheme of Work   
 Afsana MysteryInstructions  
  PowerPoint  
  Cards  
  Criteria levels  
 Day After TomorrowFact or Fiction  
  Answer Sheet  
 De BonoDe Bono Hats  
  Group Summary  
 Global DimensionScheme of WorkFrench 
  Climate Change global dimension – staff  
 Global Dimension – FloodingScheme of Work Geography 
  Session 1 – Flooding  
  Session 2 – Flooding  
  Session 3 – flooding and biodiversity  
  Session 4 – Doctor’s report  
  Session 4 – Flooding and Disease  
  Session 5 – flood prepare & prevention  
  Session 6 – Flooding Council  
 MigrationMemory Map  
  Card sort  
 Polar BearPowerPoint  
  Agony Aunt template  
 Impacts PowerPoint   
Module 5 – Climate Change Champions (Mitigation)Scheme of Work   
 Carbon Neutral HouseInstructions  
  Ideas Template  
  Sheet A  
  Sheet B  
  Sheet C  
  Sheet D  
   Sheet E  
  Sheet F  
 Recycling Food MilesFood Miles Factoids  
  Food Miles Factoids as pdf  
  Food Miles Articles  
  Recycling Factoids  
  Recycling Factoids as pdf  
 Sustainable LivingChallenge Point Scores Sheet Summary  
  Challenge 1 – compost  
  Challenge 1 – organic  
  Challenge 1 – food table  
  Challenge 2 – kite  
  Challenge 3 – word search  
  Challenge 5 – community classroom  
  Challenge 6  
  Challenge 7  
  Footprints  
  People Points  
  Planet Poster  
  Student Diary Challenge  
Module 6 – Making the most of it (Adaptation)Scheme of Work   
 What is Climate Change Adaptation   
 What is the Adaptation Challenge    
 Why is Climate Change Adaptation Important?   
 Peer Assessment   
 Student Challenge Sheet   
TreesScheme of Work Biology (plant reproduction, photosynthesis), Chemistry (carbon cycle) 
 How a Tree Works Scheme of WorkModel comments  
  Peer Assessment  
 Why are Trees Important Scheme of WorkExtended Teacher Notes  
  Sustainable Forest Management Questionnaire  

General Resources

Diamond Ranking sheet

Acknowledgements

The Climate Change Schools Resources were developed by the Climate Change Schools Project, based at the then Science Learning Centre in Durham and led by Krista McKinzey. A large number of teachers and schools in North East England were involved in their development.

They have subsequently been updated by the Royal Meteorological Society.

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