In this lesson, students will explore how climate change can impact the water cycle. As part of this exploration, students will gain a deeper understanding of the term “drought.” Drought can have many definitions depending upon whether you are using the term in a meteorological or more social context. In this lesson, drought is defined as periods of abnormal dryness in a particular area.
Climate change may cause both more extreme drought and more extreme flooding. This concept is difficult for students to grasp, and this lesson provides basic information about how increases in temperature affect the water cycle and precipitation patterns. You can increase the complexity of this lesson by including more meteorological concepts in Part 3 of this lesson, including discussions of high and low pressure systems, the movement of air masses, and the interaction between pressure, temperature, and moisture.
This unit requires students to explore the THINK app. If you do not have a class set of tablets, you can connect one tablet up to a project using an adapter, and have students work as a class to explore the app.
Climate change mitigation: Actions that reduce the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere in order to reduce the effects of climate change
Climate change adaptation: Actions or strategies that help humans to cope with changes that will be caused by or have been caused by climate change
Scientific Modeling: Physical, mathematical, or theoretical representations of information that help make abstract concepts more concrete in a way that reveals connections and behaviors of a system.