Past Century’s Global Temperature Change Is Fastest On Record

Learning Objectives

Students will read a recent science news article and discuss the content.
Depending the on the article, students may be asked to draw connections to current events or other classroom exercises.

Standards Addressed

Depending on the article, one of these standards may be most appropriate:

Subject Area - 1: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

     Standard Area - 1.3: Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Literature - Fiction and Non-Fiction

          Grade Level - 1.3.6: GRADE 6

               Standard - 1.3.6.A: Read, understand, and respond to works from various genres of literature

                    Assessment Anchor - R6.A.2: Understand nonfiction appropriate to grade level.

Preparation Time Needed

<30 minutes, enough time to read the article and associated questions, answer the questions, and possibly come up with more that are relevant to recent class exercises. 

Activity Description

(Part of the PAESTA In The News - Current Events in Earth and Space Science Series. This series compiles current resources and background materials for recent scientific events in the news. Questions are provided with each topic, written across Bloom's Taxonomic Scale, and can be used for classroom discussion and/or as a writing prompt at the beginning/middle/end of an instructional unit.)

Temperatures are rising faster today than they have at any point since at least the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago. The finding is based on a global reconstruction of temperature records from ice cores, fossils, ocean sediments, and other sources.

Articles to Share with Students

General Information

Questions for Classroom Discussion

  • Describe the temperature fluctuation that has occurred in the past 11,000 years.
  • What are the various sources of data scientists have tapped in to in order to reconstruct this temperature record?
  • What are scientists reporting as the cause of the warming trend?
  • Will the current warming trend continue, or will temperatures begin to cool? Explain why/why not.
  • Should humans be concerned about the rising temperature? What might be some environmental consequences if the planet continues to warm?
  • What might be some of the impacts of warming temperatures you may witness where you live?
  • Can humans take any actions to stop the warming? Why/why not?

Compiled March 10, 2013, by L.A. Guertin. Teachers are encouraged to search for more recent articles and related discoveries.

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