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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, PBS


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


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

Resource Types

  • Scientific Papers or Reports
  • Videos, 59 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Polar Regions, Wisconsin



WI DNR: The Science of Climate Change

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  • This scientific article presents text, data, and maps to describe the changes in global and state-wide temperatures from 1880, the increases in global carbon dioxide concentrations, and how changes in the Earth's climate will impact the weather and people in Wisconsin.
  • Students will learn about the human sources of carbon dioxide emissions, see interactive data sets and numerous WI maps, and see the connections to the health and inequalities of Wisconsinites.
Teaching Tips


  • This report is filled with graphs that are useful and eye-opening.
  • This report does an excellent job of citing credible sources.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with reading infographics and graphs.
  • Students need to know what the Industrial Revolution is and have a basic understanding of the greenhouse effect.


  • This report could enhance a lesson on how humans are impacting ecosystems, biomes, and wind patterns around the world.
  • After studying the report, the teacher could lead a classroom discussion on the Wisconsin government's effectiveness at informing its citizens about climate change.
  • This report could augment a lesson on how climate change is impacting personal health among different groups.
  • This report could supplement a lesson on the carbon cycle and how it relates to climate change.
  • More advanced students could use the NOAA interactive data sets to create their own graphs.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources gives an introduction to the science of climate change and then focuses on what climate change in Wisconsin looks like, now and into the future. This resource is filled with excellent, cited figures, including the famous Keeling Curve of carbon dioxide concentration recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory since 1958. A short video is also included that shows the Keeling Curve combined with ice core data to show how high current CO2 concentrations are compared to the last eight hundred thousand years. The resource then focuses solely on Wisconsin, with historical temperature and precipitation changes as well as predictions for the future. The article closes with a short discussion of how climate change impacts human health and the resilience of vulnerable communities. This resource is clear, well-sourced and is recommended for teaching.

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

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-4. Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 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.
  • Mathematics
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • HSS.IC.B.6(+) Evaluate reports based on data (e.g., interrogate study design, data sources, randomization, the way the data are analyzed and displayed, inferences drawn and methods used; identify and explain misleading uses of data; recognize when arguments based on data are flawed).
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