Red squares represent average global temperature in degrees Celsius. These add aspects of society to a simple climate model, simulating how population, economic growth and energy use affect – and interact with – the physical climate. Visit us on Instagram, Future Climate: Explore the Possibilities, Present and Future Climate in a Global Model, Climate Change as Simulated by the NCAR Community Earth Systems Model, Annual CCSM4 Global Surface Temperature Anomaly, 1850-2100, A Degree of Concern: Why Global Temperature Matter, Interactive - Compare Emission and Temperature Scenarios from the IPCC, Carbon/Climate Bathtub Model for Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentrations, carbon cycle diagram from the Department of Energy, Introduction & Part 1- Practice Scenarios: 45 minutes. Using the Very, Very Simple Climate Model in the Classroom Using the Very, Very Simple Climate Model in the Classroom This is a teaching activity in which students learn about the connection between CO2 emissions, CO2 concentration, and average global temperatures. Arithmetic that goes into the model is not given or transparent and makes it a "black box" (the guide only says that for relation between CO2 concentration and temperature the correlation is about 3Â C for each doubling of CO2 concentration, no information on the link between emissions and concentrations). In the year 2000, we released 6 Gigatons of CO 2 into the atmosphere. Global climate models represent the planet as millions of grid boxes and then solve mathematical equations to calculate how energy is transferred between those boxes using the laws of thermodynamics. For the Earth’s average temperature to be steady, energy must leave at the same rate as it arrives. The model is very simple. Suggestion of how to start lesson: Review notes for the very, very simple climate model and compare to other models. This surpassed the recommended temperature limit by 0.4 °C. To be somewhat realistic, they should start with emissions around 10.5 GtC/yr since that is what it was in the year 2015. A very simple energy-balance climate model The temperature of the Earth depends on the difference between the amount of energy the Earth receives from the Sun, and the amount of energy the Earth loses to space. The Very Simple Climate Model is, as the name implies, very simple. The starting values for CO2 concentration, carbon emission rate, and temperature are right around actual values for the year 2015 . Discuss the limitations of The Very Simple Climate Model. Share the following quote with students about the future of climate change: Hold a brief discussion, asking students to share what they think the quote means. Carbon emissions will go up if more power plants are created that burn fossil fuels, yet carbon emissions will go down if more technologies are invented that reduce the use of fossil fuels. Tell students that they will use a model to answer the question: Consider posting this question on the board to reference throughout the lesson. To help students focus as they run the model, have each group come up with a question that their scenario will answer. Discuss as a class what this graph is showing. <=Rapid change. Since the rate stayed the same for this model run, the blue circles form a horizontal line on the graph. National Center for Atmospheric Research This lab teaches students about the relationship between forcings, feedbacks, and climate sensitivity using a simple climate model that can either be run on Excel or on the website provided. Survey student opinions about how people are likely to behave in the future: Will we release the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that we do now? Project The Very Simple Climate Model for students to see. Ideally, students would know something about climate models. Educator needs to be very careful in using this simple model in class; explain the limitations of models in general without giving students (incorrect) arguments to question the science behind climate change. Black triangles represent how much carbon accumulates in the atmosphere over time. Have students make two lists as they read through the information: one for the effects of 1.5°C of warming and one for the effects of 2°C of warming. The impacts of changes to the biosphere (such as changes in land use), changes in clouds and weather, other greenhouse gases, and other factors are not considered by this very simple model. Finally, a subset of climate modelling involves Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs). For the Earth’s average temperature to be steady, energy must … The emissions rate is initially set at 10.5 gigatons of carbon per year, which was the actual rate during 2015. Simple Model Scope. Ask students to consider the importance of timing: Is a gradual reduction in emissions over time enough? Introduce the variables to the left of the graph (see figure below) that students can manipulate as they run the model. The climate sensitivity represents the amount of temperature change estimated to occur when carbon dioxide doubles. They consider a balance of energy entering and leaving a system (i.e. Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between these and learn about climate modeling while predicting temperature change over the 21st century. Models of Earth can be experimented upon to assess the impact of changing factors - such as increasing global temperature, decreasing ice sheets, or increasing cloud cover - on the planet. When you hear world leaders saying that they are working hard to reduce the rate of growth of greenhouse gas emissions, remember that reducing the rate of growth does not lead to reduced temperatures. So, for example, if the concentration goes from 400 ppmv to 800 ppmv, we expect to see temperature go up by 3° C. As a reference, pre-industrial CO2 concentrations were at about 280 ppmv, compared to about 400 ppmv in 2015. Tell students that one thing scientists are studying is how fast the climate is changing. Share that scientists expect temperatures to rise 3 °C every time the CO. Tell students that the actions of humans are the largest unknown when it comes to future climate change. The amount of temperature rise with double the CO2 is called the climate sensitivity. It provides a good opportunity to introduce climate models and modeling in general. Can manipulate as they run the model. ... [climate] varies on all scales of time." Very, Very Simple Climate Model Use a model to test what will happen to the atmosphere and climate over this century depending on the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. My goal is … Which had the most? According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and their 2014 Assessment Report, Earth's average temperature rose 0.6° Celsius (1.1°F) during the 20th Century. Ask students to share what comes to mind when they think about climate change in the future. IAMs produce scenarios of how greenhouse gas emissions may vary in future. I've been collecting examples of different types of climate model that students can use in the classroom to explore different aspects of climate science and climate policy. Total global carbon emissions were around 9.2 GtC by 2006 and increased to 10.34 by 2015. The Very, Very Simple Climate Model is, as the name implies, very simple. Educator should stress that model outcome is a prediction and may not be what actually happens. Put simply, a computer model uses math to describe how the Earth works. Students with low math skills might struggle and might need special guidance. The Very, Very Simple Climate Model is, as the name implies, very simple. Each group should take turns presenting their scenario to the class. Remind students of the question that was posed at the beginning of Part 1: Hold a discussion to discover what students have learned about the relationship between CO, Ask students to consider: “Why does temperature continue to rise even if emissions are decreasing?”. Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between average global temperature and carbon dioxide emissions while predicting temperature change over the 21st Century. Students understand that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rises whenever emissions are greater than zero. Find out with the Very, Very Simple Climate Model. Brainstorm how and why carbon emissions may change in the future. The variables are averaged over large regions, sometimes over the whole Earth, and many processes are not represented or accounted for by the The color of these points correlates with the colors of the three y-axis measures. Constructing a climate model involves a number of steps: Building a 3-D map of the Earth's climate system. 2. The climate change sensitivity is initially set at 3 °C. Or do we need a rapid reduction to meet our goal? The model data presented in The Simple Climate Model included global averages so there is change over time but no change across geography. However, in simplifying this model to temperature and carbon dioxide, The Very Simple Climate Model allows students to focus on the cause and effect relationships of greenhouse gases and climate change. From Using the Very Simple Climate Model in the classroom? Visit us on Twitter This also occurs in more complex models. Discuss the role of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in recent climate change. This is a teaching activity in which students learn about the connection between CO2 emissions, CO2 concentration, and average global temperatures. EBMs represent the oldest and simplest type of climate model. Ask students to share what they notice about the model (they should notice that all three lines on the graph are increasing over time). This is intended to be a simple web climate model for education purposes. But whereas weather models make predictions over specific areas and short timespans, climate models are broader and analyze long timespans. The basic building blocks of climate models are 3-D "grid cells" that contain climate-related physical information about a particular location. Have students share what they discovered from Scenario #3: How much do emissions need to decrease to stay below 2° C of warming? Students read and interpret graphs of data. This Using the Very, Very Simple Climate Model in the Classroom Lesson Plan is suitable for 6th - 12th Grade. This model calculates expected atmospheric concentrations … The simulation predicts changes throughout the 21st century based on the level of carbon dioxide emissions chosen by the students. Be the first to write a review; Description. It can illustrate some of the basic concepts in climate change. After investigating their question with the model, have each group prepare a five minute presentation about their scenario to share with the class during the next class period. The rate of climatic change in the next century is expected to be significantly higher than it has been in the past. Model results project that Earth's average global temperature will rise between 1.8° and 4.0° Celsius (3.2° and 7.2° F) during this century, depending largely on whether humans change their actions to reduce carbon emissions, and if so, by how much. S is the "climate sensitivity" factor (the temperature rise as a result of CO. What if carbon emissions were held at current levels? Doesn't do a lot in terms of helping students understand climate modeling. Extensions are very valuable, and it is great that there is a piece that offers solutions and doesn't leave the students hopeless. According to the Sixth Assessment Report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the climate sensitivity value is "likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5° C with a best estimate of about 3° C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5° C. Values substantially higher than 4.5° C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values." The ranges for emission rate choices are in line with predictions scientists think we are likely to see in this century. Calculations are made at five year increments. Use the document in appendix about accuracy and uncertainty in climate models. Introduces students to climate models and provides educator with opportunity to teach about the limitations and the value of climate models. It turns out that very slight changes in the input to the model would radically change the output. Models help us to work through complicated problems and understand complex systems. Web-based interactive simulation, collaboaration, and group presentation, “Across the globe, in response to increases in heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, temperature and precipitation patterns are changing. We have used 3° C for climate sensitivity in this simple model. Discuss as a class the results of various student scenarios: What happened to temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations over time? In this model, average global temperature is determined entirely by the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration via greenhouse warming of the atmosphere and uptake of carbon dioxide by the ocean and biosphere, which are kept constant through time. Ensure that students have a good understanding of what a model is. Ask students to imagine how the data in the Simple Climate Model might look as a visualization (increases in temperature could be shown as a change in color, for example). This climate model is very basic, and is very much under development still (lots of rough edges!). They also allow us to test theories and solutions. Students understand how changes in the rate of carbon dioxide emissions impact the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global average temperature. If you have time, share an example of a more complex model of climate change used by scientists. Because Earth is complex, it takes hundreds of very complex equations to model the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface. On January 8, Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates and William Briggs—a group of four prominent climate change deniers—published a paper in the Chinese journal, Science Bulletin, titled, “Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model.” Consider making a list of student ideas on the board. Students develop an investigation using a model. *Note: The above model visualizations show model data through time and across geography. First decide how much CO 2 will be released into the atmosphere each year and set the CO2 emissions rate. To avoid confusion, ask students to focus on the different types of data that the models are showing. Students will explore Earth's radiation budget using several versions of a simple climate model often referred to as a "layer model." In this weather lesson students develop a test scenario using a model … Box once said, "all models are wrong, but some models are useful." University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Visit us on Facebook We would expect the CO2 concentration to rise by about 2 ppm ( = 4.725 GtC ÷ 2.3 GtC = 2.05) that year. What if carbon emissions continue to rise? Students may become confused between global climate change (i.e. This is a teaching activity in which students learn about the connection between CO2 emissions, CO2 concentration, and average global temperatures. A computer or tablet with Internet access for each student pair, Paper and pencils, poster board and markers, or presentation slides for optional assessment, Familiarize yourself with The Very Simple Climate Model simulation. Essentially, climate models are an extension of weather forecasting. Temperature rises less sharply than atmospheric CO, Have students explore the question: Why do increasing global temperatures matter? In this model, average global temperature is determined entirely by the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration via greenhouse warming of the atmosphere. This model will calculate the amount of CO 2 in the atmosphere and the average global temperature based on CO 2 emissions. You will investigate the data produced by a climate model which is a numerical representation of how the atmosphere behaves. Students could share examples of models that they are familiar with and compare them to computer models. As a simplified model, many factors that influence climate such as changes in clouds and weather, changes in the amount of sea ice (which reflects sunlight), changes in air pollution and aerosols, changes in the amount of forests (which pull carbon out of the atmosphere), the effects of other greenhouse gases, or where CO. Technical Details. Allow time for questions & answers following each presentation, if possible. A major educational point embodied in this model is that temperatures depend on CO2 concentration, which rises whenever emissions are greater than zero. A very simple 0-dimensional model. Good and well-written background information for students and educators provided. For reference, the actual concentration was 399.4 ppmv in the year 2015. What are some factors that might impact climate change? The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. This activity was developed at the UCAR Center for Science Education. He admitted that "it can be argued that the very concept of climate is sterile," unless you gave up "the classical concept of something static." The Very Simple Climate Model is, as the name implies, very simple. Reviews. The assumptions behind this model, though rather limited, are valid as far as they go. The carbon dioxide emissions rate is measured in gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. Through a simple interactive online model, students learn about the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions, carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere, and average global temperature. Very quickly I know if it's going to rain, whether there's a storm brewing off the coast, or if I will need extra layers. Making sense of the graph with 3 different y-axes might be a challenge to some students. In general, doubling the atmospheric concentration of CO2 causes a certain amount of rise in average global surface temperature. The Very, Very, Simple Climate Change Model Lab Exercise Name: Chris Snyder Violet Patman McKenna Kramer ENV 121 online Answer Sheet Interactive Activity: Part 1 - Learning how the model works 1. At our current rate of emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that CO2 levels in the atmosphere will double or triple during the next century, and the climate system will respond.”    -NOAA. Tell students that scientists use models to predict how Earth's climate will change in the future. ... A good introduction to simple climate models: Gerald R. North, Atmospheric Sciences 631: Climate Modeling, Downloadable PDFs of lecture slides. For those who may have missed it, here’s the backstory. For example, if emissions were 10.5 GtC, 45% of that would end up in the atmosphere, which is 4.725 GtC. Comment from expert scientist: Although the students learn that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rises whenever emissions are greater than zero, they don't learn about the concept of residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere. In this model, average global temperature is determined entirely by the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration via greenhouse warming of the atmosphere. They should create 1-2 slides or a poster as a visual aid. Three points will appear on the graph for every five years of model time. This should be clarified. We know how much Earth's surface temperature will rise as CO2 levels increase based on both theory and observations. No reviews. Students present the results of an investigation to their peers. Using the model, developing scenarios, testing them, and presenting results will engage students of different learning styles. There is some uncertainty about how the climate system will behave as carbon dioxide increases, so scientists test models with different climate sensitivities. Students understand the impact of atmospheric carbon dioxide on Earth's global average temperature. Using the Very, Very Simple Climate Model in the Classroom, https://scied.ucar.edu/activity/very-simple-climate-model-activity, 5 c Observations, experiments, and theory are used to construct and refine computer models, 6 b Increased GHG concentrations in atmosphere will remain high for centuries and affect future climate. Engages students in thinking about climate models and more specifically what is provided as background for this model. About 55% of the emissions are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere, which means that 45% of the emissions wind up in the atmosphere. Earth receives energy from the sun, some of which is reflected and most of which is absorbed near the surface. You may wish to have students write down the answers to the questions that are asked throughout scenarios 1-3. The blue circles (emissions rate) represent how much carbon we add to the atmosphere each year. What scenario do you think is … The relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and temperature is well-established; basically, temperature rises about 3° C for each doubling of carbon dioxide concentration. Because of the complexity, climate models are usually run on powerful supercomputers. Extension idea: Compare to Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change report. 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