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Standard 3

Students will understand the atmospheric processes that support life and cause weather and climate.

Objective 1

  • Relate how energy from the Sun drives atmospheric processes and how atmospheric currents transport matter and transfer energy.
  • Compare and contrast the amount of energy coming from the Sun that is reflected, absorbed or scattered by the atmosphere, oceans, and land masses.
  • Construct a model that demonstrates how the greenhouse effect contributes to atmospheric energy.
  • Conduct an investigation on how the tilt of Earth’s axis causes variations in the intensity and duration of sunlight striking Earth.
  • Explain how uneven heating of Earth’s atmosphere at the equator and polar regions combined with the Coriolis effect create an atmospheric circulation system including, Hadley cells, trade winds, and prevailing westerlies, that moves heat energy around Earth.
  • Explain how the presence of ozone in the stratosphere is beneficial to life, while ozone in the troposphere is considered an air pollutant.

Objective 2

  • Describe elements of weather and the factors that cause them to vary from day to day.
  • Identify the elements of weather and the instruments used to measure them (e.g., temperature – thermometer; precipitation – rain gauge or Doppler radar; humidity – hygrometer; air pressure – barometer; wind – anemometer; cloud coverage – satellite imaging).
  • Describe conditions that give rise to severe weather phenomena (e.g., thunderstorms, tornados, hurricanes, El Niño/La Niña).
  • Explain a difference between a low pressure system and a high pressure system, including the weather associated with them.
  • Diagram and describe cold, warm, occluded, and stationary boundaries (weather fronts) between air masses.
  • Design and conduct a weather investigation, use an appropriate display of the data, and interpret the observations and data.

Objective 3

  • Examine the natural and human-caused processes that cause Earth’s climate to change over intervals of time ranging from decades to millennia.
  • Explain differences between weather and climate and the methods used to investigate evidence for changes in climate (e.g., ice core sampling, tree rings, historical temperature measurements, changes in the extent of alpine glaciers, changes in the extent of Arctic sea ice).
  • Explain how Earth’s climate has changed over time and describe the natural causes for these changes (e.g., Milankovitch cycles, solar fluctuations, plate tectonics).
  • Describe how human activity influences the carbon cycle and may contribute to climate change.
  • Explain the differences between air pollution and climate change and how these are related to society’s use of fossil fuels.
  • Investigate the current and potential consequences of climate change (e.g., ocean acidification, sea level rise, desertification, habitat loss) on ecosystems, including human communities.


Climate Change LB 363.73 SMI

pg 4 (4:00)  Climate Change:  Educate and take action

pg 4 – website – What is Global Warming? (NatGeo)

pg 8 – website –  2015 smashes record for hottest year

pg 10 – website – In a melting Iceland, drilling deep to stem climate change

pg 12 – website – Paleoclimatology:  the ice core record

pg 14 – website – Why doesn’t anyone know how to talk about global warming?

pg 18 (2:45)  Work together to reduce global warming

pg 22 – website – greenhouse gas emissions from livestock

pg 24 – website – collapse of the Larsen-B ice shelf

pg 28 (2:26)  fire season is hotter and longer

pg 30 – website – Climate change has claimed its first mammal extinction

pg 32 – website – history of hydropower

pg 34 (1:53)  United Nations addressing climate change

Deserts LB 577.54 BAN

pg 4 (3:12) A day in the desert (no narration)

pg 6 (2:00) Sahara Desert and climate change

pg 20 (3:50) Gila Monster

pg 28 – website – Desert Food Web info plus (3:14) video

Hurricanes LB 551.55 ZAY

pg 4 (1:55) What is a hurricane?

pg 8 (1:20) NOAA – You can’t stop a hurricane

pg 12 – website – Extreme weather photos

pg 22 (2:08) Hurricane hunters

Ice LB 551.3 WHE (K)

8 (1:30) Hailstorm

pg 10 – website – disappearing glaciers

pg 12 (2:10) about glaciers

pg 14 – website – Landforms from glaciers

Natural Resources LB 333.7 WIL

pg 5 (3:31)  rising temperatures  affect wheat growth

pg 8 – website – American Bison

pg 10 – website – Desalination in the Persian Gulf

pg 13 (3:37) precious metals

pg 16 – website – forest product consumption and production

?pg 18 – website – Climate Report Shifts on Biofuels

pg 20 – website – selective logging

pg 26 – website – solar industry data

pg 27 (1:26)  Volcanoes affect the amount of sunlight reaching Earth’s surface

Precipitation LB 551.48 PUR

pg 4 (2:35) Availability of fresh water

pg 4 – website – Water cycle details

pg 16 (3:20) Monsoons and their effects (human and economic)

pg 18 (3:45) Understanding weather maps

Renewable Energy LB 333 SMI

pg 4 (2:52) Denmark island of Samso:  first island powered 100% by renewable energy

pg 4 –  website – importance of renewable energy in the fight against climate change

pg 8 (1:12)  animated – hydroelectric energy

pg 8 – website – Home

pg 12 – website – rival emerges for Swansea’s tidal pool energy plans

pg 16 (1:02)  animated – renewable energy:  wind turbines

pg 16 – website – windmills on the great plains

pg 20 – website – Will wind turbines ever be safe for birds?

pg 22 – website – animation: How a wind turbine works

pg 24 ( 1:50)  Animation- renewable energy:  the sun

pg 24 – website – How much can you save with solar panels?

pg 28 – website – The rise of a giant solar power plant in California’s central plain

pg 32 (1:00)  Animation – geothermal energy

Weather  LB 551.6 PAR

pg 4 (4:32)  What is weather? – Earth

pg 22  (4:18) wind farms

pg 28  (3:00) Tornadoes

pg 30 – website – About El Nino

Wind LB 550 WHE

pg 4 (2:43)  How to fly a kite

pg 8 (1:36)  Trees affected by wind (bad Audio)

pg 12 (1:25)   About dust storms

pg 16 – website – control a twister


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