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Julie Lambert, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Environmental and Science Education Department of Teaching and Learning Florida Atlantic University.

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Presentation on theme: "Julie Lambert, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Environmental and Science Education Department of Teaching and Learning Florida Atlantic University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Julie Lambert, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Environmental and Science Education Department of Teaching and Learning Florida Atlantic University

2 *Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., & Roser-Renouf, C. (2010) Global Warmings Six Americas, January Yale Univ and George Mason Univ. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on Climate Change. Americans Evolving Views on Global Warming Also see:

3 The general public is divided about climate change because… People more likely reject the science when the economy is not doing well. A small number of scientists disagree with the findings of the 98% of climate scientists. Weather is seen as an act of God and some people cannot accept the idea that humans could affect it. Scientists do not communicate effectively to the public. There is widespread scientific illiteracy. There is a well-organized and well-funded disinformation campaign. The media portrays climate change as a controversy. (Sommerville and Hassol, October, 2011)

4 Skeptic Claim 1. There no scientific consensus about causes of climate change. From The Inquisition of Climate Science by James Lawrence Powell What the scientific evidence shows …

5 Charles David Keeling and Roger Revelle began measuring CO 2. Charles Keeling and Al Gore 1860s - Measured the amount of radiant heat that certain gases could absorb and transmit. John Tyndall Performed calculations that concluded a doubling of CO 2 would increase temperature by several degrees. Svante Arrhenius How Long Scientists Have Known About Humans Role in Changing Climate

6 The Consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) IPCC (1990) The unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely for a decade or more. IPCC (1995) The balance of evidence (>50%) suggests a discernible human influence on global climate IPCC (2001) Most of the warming of the past 50 years is likely (>66%) to be attributable to human activities. IPCC (2007) Warming is unequivocal, and most of the warming of the past 50 years is very likely (>90%) due to increases in greenhouse gases.

7 And the Consensus of ………..

8 Skeptic Claim 2. Extreme weather events (such as precipitation and flooding, drought, heat waves) are not increasing, but just part of the natural cycle. What the scientific evidence shows …

9 Skeptic Claim 3. Earths climate (global average temperature) has changed in the past and recent changes are NOT unusual. Climate has changed over geological time, but human civilization has flourished during a 10,000-year period of relatively stable, small temperature range until now…. What the scientific evidence shows …

10 Carbon Emissions from Human Activity The rate of warming over the past century is unusual. The rapid warming coincides with increasing carbon dioxide. The increasing carbon dioxide is due to human activities, primarily burning fossil fuels. Temperature Change ( o F) CO 2 Concentration (ppb) Carbon Emissions Skeptic Claim 4. Natural variability is causing the recent changes in temperature, not human activity. What the scientific evidence shows …

11 Skeptic Claim 4. Natural variability is causing the recent changes in temperature, not human activity. Natural Causes: Sun, Volcanoes, Orbital Changes and Natural Cycles Natural Causes and Human Contributions (Burning of Fossil Fuels) What the scientific evidence shows …

12 Skeptic Claim 5. There is not enough evidence that Earth is warming. What the scientific evidence shows …

13 More Scientific Evidence of Warming…

14 © Harold R. Wanless, August 2,2012

15 Skeptic Claim 6. The impacts of a few degrees of global warming would NOT be that harmful to life (including humans) on Earth. Warming could even be good.

16 Number of Days with Temperature Exceeding 90 F

17 21 st Century Climate Change Model projections of summer average temperature and precipitation changes in Illinois and Michigan for midcentury ( ), and end-of-century ( ), indicate that summers in these states are expected to feel progressively more like summers currently experienced in states south and west.


19 Most Recent U.S. Government Projections by NOAA, United States Geological Survey, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, and the US Army Corps of Engineers Lower projections not meaningful Ocean warming & limited ice melt = 4.1 to 6.6 feet by 2100 = 1.3 to 2.1 feet by 2050 NOAA, December 6, 2012 No Ice Sheet Melt Linear Historical Ocean warming & largest anticipated ice melt

20 TODAY + 2 FEET + 4 FEET + 6 FEET TODAY by 2060 by 2085 by 2112 INUNDATION PROJECTIONS, LEVEL AT MEAN HIGHER HIGH WATER (MHHW) Maps by Harold R. Wanless

21 Photo by Jon Ullman MIAMI BEACHOCTOBER 15, 2012 Miami Beach tidal flooding at 10th and Alton, (aka. the corner of climate change and clean energy.). Photo is 2 ½ hours after high tide. No rain. No water main break. No hurricane. Just a twice daily high tide. ON TOP OF THESE PROJECTIONS ARE HIGHER SEASONAL TIDES

22 Skeptic Claim 7. Humans cannot reduce the effects of global warming even if it is happening. It is too late to stop global warming, so we should just adapt. Carbon Mitigation Initiative, Princeton University

23 What is a Stabilization Wedge ? Energy Efficiency & Conservation Stabilization Triangle Renewables & Biostorage 15 Wedge Strategies in 4 Categories Nuclear Power Triangle Stabilization Fossil Fuel-Based Strategies A wedge is a strategy to reduce carbon emissions that grows in 50 years from zero to 1.0 GtC/yr. Cumulatively, a wedge redirects the flow of 25 GtC in its first 50 years.

24 What Can We Do? Leading climatologist, Dr. James Hansen, says we quickly need to reduce atmospheric CO2 to ppm. +1 ppm/yr +2 ppm/yr 350 ppm Presently 390 ppm and rising about 3 ppm / year 325 ppm This probably will not slow the first 3-5 feet of sea level rise, but may be a step for limiting a catastrophic greater rise.

25 Caroline Lewis, The CLEO Institute -

26 Why Climate Change Education Is So Important Most American teenagers and adults never learned basic climate science in school, but most would like to know more (Leiserowitz 2010; Miller 2012). Those who have a basic understanding of the science are more concerned with addressing climate change (Leiserowitz 2010, 2011; Miller 2012). Climate policy in the US has reached an impasse despite clear evidence of climate change from satellite data and ground observations.

27 Challenges Slowing the Development and Delivery of Effective Climate Change Education Research demonstrates that the underlying science is inherently difficult to understand (Boyes & Stanisstreet, 1993, 1997, 2001; Coyle, 2005) and for educators to competently teach (Abbasi, 2006; National Research Council, 2007; Storksdieck, 2006). Climate change education requires a cross-disciplinary approach (earth systems, social, behavioral, and economic sciences). There has been a lack of coordination, cooperation, and alignment of overall education strategies, often resulting in a duplication of efforts. Finally, climate change has become a highly politicized topic (like evolution). A persons willingness to be educated about climate change depends on their attitude toward the issue (Gardner & Stern, 2008; Leiserowitz & Smith, 2010).

28 RESEARCH ON PRESERVICE TEACHERS KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTIONS ABOUT CLIMATE SCIENCE Pre-Assessments Inventory of Perceptions about Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Science Inventory of Knowledge (CSIK) Climate Change Instruction Climate Change Study Guide Series of Lessons & Investigations Evidence-Based Argumentation (Recent semesters) Post-Assessments Inventory of Perceptions about Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Science Inventory of Knowledge (CSIK) Lambert, J., Lindgren, J., & Bleicher, R. (2012). Assessing elementary science methods students understanding about global climate change. International Journal of Science Education. 34(7-8),

29 Concern About Global Warming of Preservice Teachers Compared to Generation X n = 149, preservice teachers; n = 2,924, Generation X Our FAU preservice teachers (elementary science methods students) are much more alarmed about global warming than the Generation X students polled by University of Michigan. (

30 CSI: South Florida Climate Science Investigations: South Florida Climate Science Investigations: South Florida A NASA-Funded Curriculum Development Project to Address Climate Illiteracy (PI – Julie Lambert) (

31 Framework for Climate Science Argumentation Written / Oral Communication of Argument Justification The rationale or reasoning why each type of evidence warrants the scientific claim Evidence The data that supports the scientific claim Evaluation (Critique) of Argument Skeptics Claim Scientists Claim Rebuttal to the Skeptic Argument Adapted from Thomlin 1958

32 Recommendations from the Climate and Energy Literacy Summit, December 7-9, 2012 A national initiative over next 10 years is to significantly increase climate and energy literacy in order to prepare 56 million students in K-12 education, 20 million more in post-secondary schools, and the millions of other professionals, including military, farmers, coastal residents, and many others who make climate and energy related decisions.

33 So Whats at Stake? Human civilization has reached a fork in the road we have long traveled. Once of two paths must be chosen. Both lead us into the unknown. But one leads toward the destruction of the climate balance on which we depend, the depletion of irreplaceable resources that sustain us, the degradation of uniquely human values, and the possibility that civilization as we know it would come to an end. The other leads us to the future. (From The Future: Drivers of Global Change by Al Gore, 2013)

34 How I Became Interested in Climate! Earth Science Teacher Masters of Science in Oceanography Interest in weather and climate began in middle school earth science! A special teacher, weather observation project, and film – The Unchained Goddess

35 For resources, please Is this our future?

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