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Climate Variability

4) Climate varies over space and time through both natural and human processes.

A satellite image shows the tracks in the atmosphere and ocean left by ships sailing across the Atlantic.A satellite image shows the tracks in the atmosph

Climate and Life

3) Life on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate.

A leaf with sunlight shining through it.A leaf with sunlight shining through it.

The third principle discusses where biology and climate meet.

Complex Climate Interactions

2) Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system.

Complex interplay of seawater: Satellite image of the ocean near Tasmania, showing complex ocean currents, driven by the movement of the earth, solar radiation, air currents, and other factors.

Energy from the Sun

1) The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth’s climate system.

Sunlight across the globe: A satellite image shows sunlight gleaming across the surface of the Earth.Sunlight across the globe: A satellite image shows sunlight gleaming across

Weather vs. Climate

Jet Stream: Clouds following the jet stream in a satellite image from NASA.Jet Stream: Clouds following the jet stream in a satellite image from NASA.

The difference between weather and climate is a matter of time.

Principles of Climate Literacy

Understanding how human activities are causing climate and other global changes requires a basic understanding of climate, how it differs from weather, and at least a little about how climate and related science is conducted.

Countering Climate Confusion

Teacher clarifying scientific principles

To convey key climate change concepts effectively, it is vital to be aware of fundamental misconceptions about climate, which are widespread.

Resources for Teachers

Here is a selection of high-quality free on-line resources helpful for teachers looking to review the basics of climate science, understand the historical development of the science, improve their climate science pedagogy, and prepare to counter doubt and denial about climate change.

Addressing Doubt and Denial in the Classroom

Climate Change Denial: by Paula Spence for NCSE, 2012

Because climate change is a matter of social — although not scientific — controversy, it is important to be ready to address climate change doubt and denial in the classroom.

Climate Change Denial Is Affecting Education

Climate change denial is already threatening the integrity of science education in formal and informal education settings. In the public schools, such threats are primarily due to laws adopted or considered at the level of state government, policies adopted or considered at the level of the local school district, and actions adopted or considered at the level of the individual classroom, where teachers may either deny climate change themselves or encounter pressure from climate change deniers in the community.

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