Earth's Orbit and Climate Change


The following article, "Explaining the Evidence," serves as a short review about orbital cycles described by Milankovitch and climate change intervals identified in the paleoclimate record. As you read, consider the time scales that are involved in this data.

As you consider ways to introduce your students to past and present climate change, you may want to explore the "You're As Cold As Ice!" lesson plan from PBS LearningMedia.

In this lesson, students explore glaciers and glaciations and review how theories about global climate change will impact glaciers and ice sheets.

Finally, read the scientific press release "Ice Ages Follow the Sun" that describes new research related to orbital forcing of the Earth's glaciation cycles. Remember to return to any parts of this module if there are elements of the discussion in this press release that you do not understand.

Finish this module by reflecting on what you have learned and making a plan for future professional development.

What resources would you consider using from this module in your classroom?

What questions do you still have related to the influence of orbital forcing on today's climate?

Congratulations on completing this module! You have explored techniques, strategies, and readings that will improve your STEM instruction and facilitate students' understanding of global climate change. We recommend that you continue to look for opportunities to use NASA resources and primary data to involve students in relevant problem-based learning.

NASA wants to hear about your experience in this lesson. Please complete the Short Term Experience - Educator End of Event Survey. This survey is anonymous.

We hope you will consider taking another global climate change module from PBS and NASA and online courses from PBS TeacherLine to increase your knowledge about STEM instruction and global climate change.

Global Climate Change Modules

Online Professional Development

PBS Teacherline

PBS TeacherLine, the premier provider of online professional development services for PreK-12 educators, has the goal of making professional development accessible, affordable and engaging for teachers. Our hope is that our courses can help inspire and guide STEM learning at every age and in every discipline.

Integrate science and mathematics learning with technology and the engineering design process to investigate solutions to real-world problems with our STEM courses.

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