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Maine Climate Action Now


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Scientific Papers or Reports, 44 pages
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Maine



MCAN! Climate Change 101

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  • This short article explains the difference between climate and weather, defines climate change and global warming, and provides the evidence of recent warming and more information about the impacts of climate change in Maine.
  • Through the article and 2020 report, students will learn that fossil fuel emissions are driving global climate change, precipitation is becoming more frequent and severe in Maine, and the Gulf of Maine's chemistry and temperature is changing.
Teaching Tips


  • The article's graph on increasing global temperatures is from NASA and there are interactive vocabulary words highlighted in the text with definitions.
  • The report is well-cited and provides future scenarios to consider.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand the connection between combustion engines and fossil fuel emissions.
  • Students should know how to read charts and graphs.


  • This article or report could enhance a lesson about economic incentives, externalities, and the costs of not addressing climate change.
  • This could augment a classroom discussion on walkable cities, how they could lower fossil fuel emissions and pollution, what these lower emissions would mean for the environment, and how citizens could pressure their governments to make cities more walkable.
  • This is a great refresher or introduction to climate change and could accompany a lesson about the origins of greenhouse gas emissions or the activities most responsible for emitting them.
  • The report could support a lesson about the risks of climate change to human and natural systems.
Scientist Notes
This site provides a simple overview of the difference between weather and climate, what climate change is, and why it happens. The page is concise and easy to understand. It also includes a graph of global temperatures and a link to a report from the University of Maine about Maine’s Climate Future. The page directs students to a list of vocabulary words in the report. The report states that these words are uncommon but not new. In other words, these words may be uncommon to the public, or people not in the Maine area, but meteorologists have used these words for many years. In short, the phenomena are not new events. The events are now more noticeable (i.e., stronger, more frequent, in different locations, etc.). This resource and the associated report have been assessed, and this resource is recommended for teaching.

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

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development and how they interact to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • 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.
      • HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
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