January: The Process and Nature of Science February: Evolution March: Physics and Technology April: Energy Resources May: Sustainability and the Environment June: Ocean and Water July: Astronomy August: Weather and Climate September: Biodiversity and Conservation October: Geosciences and Planet Earth November: Chemistry December: Science and Health Year of Science 2009 home page
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Weather and Climate

The Lowdown on Climate Change


Dr. Andy Monaghan, researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research gives us the lowdown on climate change and it's impact on Antarctica. Click here to listen to this podcast. Image and text courtesy of Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears.

Science Videos

Bringing Down the Bolt

Lightning is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of the atmospheric sciences, researchers say. Scientists at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing in Florida are inducing lightning to strike so they can understand it better.Video footage courtesy of Martin Uman, University of Florida and Tom A. Warner, ztresearch.com. Cover photo by Tom Warner. Produced by Flora Lichtman

Connecting Weather and
Climate to Society


Some key points to consider:

  •  Over the 21st century, climate scientists expect Earth's temperature to continue increasing, very likely more than it did during the 20th century.

  •   Two anticipated results are: (1) rising global sea level and (2) increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves, droughts, and floods.

  •  These changes will affect almost every aspect of human society, including economic prosperity, human and environmental health, and national security.

  •   Scientific observations and climate model results indicate that human activities are now the primary cause of most of the ongoing increase in Earth's globally averaged surface temperature.

  •  Climate change will bring economic and environmental challenges as well as opportunities, and citizens who have an understanding of climate science will be better prepared to respond to both.

  •  Climate change will continue to be a significant element of public discourse. Understanding the essential principles of climate science will enable all people to assess news stories and contribute to their everyday conversations as informed citizens.

Visit the Encyclopedia of Earth's website to read more from Climate Science Literacy Handbook.

polar caps.jpg
Image Credit: super megabuddy, Creative Commons

Polar Visions

Polar Visions is an exciting, visually stunning film by Ryan Vachon, about the causes and effects of climate change in polar regions. The film contains seven stand-alone segments appropriate for use in all kinds of science classrooms and informal settings from the middle level through college, and was developed to align with the National Science Education Standards across all science subjects.


Arctic Climate Perspectives

Watch the Iñupiaq people who live in Barrow present their observations about climate change based on their centuries-old knowledge of their environment, and describe how these changes are already affecting their lives. Scientists who have come to Barrow to study climate change also offer their perspective. Text and Image courtesty of Teachers' Domain, Arctic Climate Perspectives

Visit Teachers' Domain to see more resources about climate.

The following organizations contributed content to this theme:
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) National Center for Atmospheric Research The Encyclopedia of Earth NASA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RAFT The Sloan Career Cornerstone Center University of California Museum of Paleontology Science Friday National Environmental Education Foundation California Sea Grant American Institute of Biological Sciences Teachers Domain

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