Global Warming: Is Our Local Environment Ready for the Change?

byJustin T. Benz

This is a nine week unit for a high school environmental technology program. The unit includes background information on the atmosphere and global warming and an inquiry based sequence of activities to lead an exploration of the possible effects of global warming on the local environment. Throughout this unit, students interpret relevant graphs, text, and images depicting the lines of evidence scientists have ascertained and use to predict possible effects. With these images and graphs in their minds eye, students then engage in mapping activities to understand how this aspect of their local environment may be affected. Having students also gather relevant environmental data in the field locally helps students comprehend the data they access from the internet. Students formulate hypotheses based on the data obtained online as to the possible effects that data may signal for the global environment. The sequence of events in this unit is designed to teach students how an environmental scientist would interpret the environment through maps, photographs, and field measurements. This unit provides students with experiences to gain an understanding of this global environmental problem and to make the data and rationale for predictions of possible effects more understandable and relevant to their lives.

(Developed for Environmental Technology, grade 9; recommended for Environmental Science, grades 9-12)

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