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Lesson summary for:
Climate Models and Uncertainty

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Overview:
Earth's climate system is enormously complex, and scientists develop climate models to understand how climate change will play out in different parts of the world. Students play a climate resilience game, and then explore the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report to learn more about how climate scientists handle uncertainty in models.

Author/Source:
MIT Climate Portal

Grade:
9-12

Discipline:
Earth science

Time:
up to 2 hours

Teaching tips:
The podcast portion can be assigned as outside-of-class listening for flipped classrooms.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Because it has been tested, scientific knowledge is reliable. (NOS3)

  • The process of science involves observation, exploration, testing, communication, and application.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data. (P2, P3, P4, NOS1)

  • Scientists look for patterns in their observations and data. (P4, P5, NOS2)

  • Scientific knowledge informs public policies and regulations that promote our health, safety, and environmental stewardship.

  • Problem-solving and decision-making benefit from a scientific approach.

Teacher background:

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