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Climate Change Circle of Consequences

Introduction

Global warming is an important issue on the world's environmental agenda. Human activities are altering Earth's atmosphere, with potential worldwide consequences. This activity will help students think about the interconnections between climate change and its impact around the world.

Objective
Students will:

  • use their reasoning and interpretation skills to think about and identify many of the interconnections and consequences of climate change

Materials:

  • paper
  • pencils

Procedure

Exploration

  1. Draw a circle on a large piece of paper or on the board. In the center of the circle write "World Temperatures Rise." Based on their experience in the Climate Change exhibition, ask students to think of as many direct probable consequences as they can. After the class agrees that a suggestion is indeed a direct consequence, draw a line out from the original circle, connect another circle to the line, and write the consequence in the circle. Continue thinking about and adding consequences to the "Circles of Consequences" diagram.
    NOTES:
  • Some of the consequences the students think of may NOT be direct consequences, but rather consequences of a direct consequence. For example, a direct consequence of "world temperatures rise" would be a "sea level rise." A consequence of "sea level rise" would be "flooding." "Flooding" goes in a circle connected to the "sea level rise" circle.
  • If you want to create a more specific Circles of Consequence diagram, you might choose one direct consequence as the central circle and ask the students think of the consequences of that. E.g., use "sea level rise" as the central phrase or issue. Another exercise might be to put a term such as "sea level rise" in the central circle and ask the students to think of the consequences of global warming on agriculture. (Examples: flooding, overcrowding from coastal populations moving inland, habitat loss, etc.)
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  1. Select several consequences that are interconnected. Ask students how they are related. (Answers will vary. Example: Global warming will melt glaciers and this may result in rising sea level and coastal flooding.)
  2. Ask students: Why is it important for politicians to understand climate change? (Answer: World leaders must agree to take whatever measures are necessary to protect the wellbeing of everyone.)

Wrap-Up

  1. Have students come up with a list of things they can do as individuals in response to climate change. For ideas, visit Be an Energy Saver.

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