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Probable Futures


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Ebooks

Regional Focus


Water: Extremes

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  • This text explains how climate change has disrupted the water system, causing more extreme precipitation events and changes in ocean currents. 
  • Photographs, videos, a map, and a diagram help to illustrate the concepts in the text. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students can listen to the narration of the article as well.
  • Students can click the "i" icon to learn more about certain terms or concepts.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The text does not differentiate between melting land ice and melting sea ice, so teachers may wish to explain that melting sea ice does not contribute to sea level rise in the way that melting land ice does.


  • Teachers could break the class into small groups and have each group make a short slideshow explaining the key parts in a section of the text. Students could use videos, maps, charts, graphs, and photos from reliable sources to illustrate their points.
  • English Language Arts classes could write an essay in response to the following writing prompt: The last paragraph of the text explains that we will need to "prepare our infrastructure, our finances, and our expectations for a wider range of outcomes." What specific preparations will people need to do on an individual level and a societal level? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on the water cycle and pollution, this interactive map that shows the potential for flooding in areas containing energy infrastructure in the United States, and this video on how ocean currents work and how climate change is disrupting them.
Scientist Notes
The resource provides insights on climate resilience and how to cope with extreme weather events like sea level rise, flooding, and other natural disasters. It also expresses how climate and weather have become unpredictable and volatile and will require new climate models to predict outcomes in the future. This is recommended for teaching.

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

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-4. Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
      • HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    • 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-ESS3-6. 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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