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Climate Change – Causes and Effects: The global social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change

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Minimum time required

15 minutes

Resources needed

Methodology & teacher’s notes

This activity is suitable as a class/group challenge for a starter activity.

When setting the task, it will be useful to discuss what the map shows to ensure there are no misconceptions in its analysis.

The mapped temperature is how much warmer parts of the global could be if the global average rose by +2°C from pre-industrial levels (1850-1900 average). It is neither a worse-case nor a best-case scenario if the world reaches this level of warming by 2050, as it assumes some attempt to reduce carbon emissions but far short of the levels needed as set out by the Paris Agreement.

Describing potential temperature increases using averages between two time periods is more reliable than from one year to another.

  1. Display the map on the board and/or print out copies for students. With something to reference (e.g. atlas, globe, world map), students to annotate the information by drawing arrows to the locations.
  2. Come up with a key for ‘social’, ‘economic’ and ‘environment’ (symbols or colours). Students to label each impact with which of those three. Some can be more than one.

Suggested answers:

  1. Optional extension: In their exercise books or on the back of the sheet, students can be asked to describe the pattern of projected temperature change.

References, sources & credits

Temperature map from IPCC 6th Assessment Working Group 1, Summary for Policy Makers

Socioeconomic and environmental effects due to climate changes resulting in an average global temperature of +2C from pre-industrial levels, as collated by Carbon Brief from numerous studies

IPCC 6th Assessment Working Group 2, Fact Sheets

Further reading and challenge

Students should be encouraged to read through the ‘Impacts and Adaptations‘ page of the Esri UK/Met Office Story Map. Using the ‘Greenhouse gases, aerosol emissions and land use change are all drivers of climate change’ section, which includes the ‘donut diagram’, they can think about how the changes and impacts might be represented on the map. For instance the impact ‘habitable region of pests expands’ could apply to Europe.

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