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Author

U.S. Global Change Research Program

Grades

11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics

Resource Type

  • Scientific Papers or Reports

Regional Focus

North America, United States

Fifth National Climate Assessment Overview

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Synopsis
  • This overview chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment Report provides an overview of the major findings of the report and details the climate data, risks, and responses of regions and individual states.
  • It discusses the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and includes descriptions of human health and safety hazards, economic impacts, and the challenges faced by disadvantaged and Indigenous communities due to climate change.
  • The infographics, photographs, charts, and descriptions in each section provide numerous ways to present and digest the information.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • There are many links and citations to additional peer-reviewed articles and publications for the referenced topics.
  • This is an excellent example of a presentation of scientific research used to inform public policy.
  • Regional and state-specific impacts of climate change are discussed, so students from different parts of the United States can relate to the data.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This text is at an advanced reading level (upper high school to college level) and will require significant scaffolding for a younger audience.
  • Students should be familiar with climate science terms and concepts such as greenhouse gas emissions, net zero emissions, renewable energy, climate adaptation, mitigation, and climate policy.

Differentiation

  • This text is best broken up and analyzed in different sections, as it is lengthy and resource-dense.
  • Consider having students analyze the graphs and maps before reading the accompanying text, formulating questions and observations they would like to research further.
  • Create an annotation guide for students to assist in reading comprehension, encouraging them to highlight words they do not understand, underline sentences that summarize paragraphs, circle concepts they would like to discuss further, and star data or sentences that provide evidence of assertions made in the text.
  • If using the complete text, consider utilizing a jigsaw activity in which groups of students read different parts of the text and report out to their classmates.
Scientist Notes
The National Climate Assessment represents that latest and most up-to-date comprehensive review of the state of climate change in the United States. This assessment is thoroughly cited, using research from the top peer-reviewed journals. It is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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