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


Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


The Causes of Climate Change

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  • This interactive resource describes the influence of increasing levels of greenhouse gases on climate change, displays data showing that energy from the sun has decreased, and details the five major greenhouse gases. 
  • This would be a great introduction to the greenhouse effect and climate change for students and it addresses some of the main misconceptions about the causes of climate change. 
Teaching Tips


  • This resource addresses some of the skeptics' arguments about the causes of climate change with data and evidence.
  • There are links to more information for younger students within the resource and listed at the bottom.

Additional Prerequisites

  • You may want to provide additional context about CFCs, the Montreal Protocol, and other halogenated or fluorinated gases that are still being used as refrigerants and insulators. The content about the breach in the Montreal Protocol may be very interesting for students to read about.
  • Students should know how to read a graph.


  • Language arts, social studies, and civics classes could use this resource as a basis for position papers or for lessons about the importance of media literacy, source verification, and data-based evidence in public policy. 
  • Math and science students can analyze the graphed data about solar radiation and global temperatures and connect it to lessons about Earth's orbit, Milankovich cycles, and the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Younger students may need additional support when reading this article or may benefit from using a graphic organizer.
  • As an extension, have students review this video about the causes of climate change and this video and activity about the evidence of climate change.
Scientist Notes
This resource succinctly lays out the causes of climate change. Almost as important as showing what causes climate change, the resource also gives evidence as to what is not causing climate change. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • 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
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
    • PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
      • MS-PS1-4. Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
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