Unit 7: How will climate change affect life?
In the words of the Essential Principles of Climate Literacy, "Life on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate." Organisms survive in specific ranges of climate, and if climate changes, the organisms adapt or migrate, otherwise they will perish. Human-induced climate change will alter conditions to which organisms are currently adapted.
- Identify ways that climate change is affecting composition of ecosystems and is predicted to increase species extinction rates. Example: polar aquatic communities.
- Understand predictions that climate change will affect human habitations, food supply, and disease incidence.
This unit relates most closely with Climate Literacy Principle 3, Climate Literacy Principle 3, Life on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate, and Climate Literacy Principle 7, Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives.
One way that learners can become "citizen scientists" is to focus on changing seasonal patterns and how they are being altered. Phenology ("the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate") is an important way to understand how changes in the length of seasons influence plants and animals.
Gary Randolph – GLOBE Program [PowerPoint]
"Listening to Colorado's Ecology" video
Human Impacts- Sea Level Rise
Dr. Steve Nerem is Associate Director of Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an expert on using satellite data to measure sea level rise.
Steve Nerem –Presentation
CReSIS Sea Level Interactive