NCWR

About NCWR

Climate change challenges

In a nutshell

In this activity we discuss about climate change, what are its causes and impacts to humans and ecosystems and what we can do about it, as individuals and as societies.

90 min

12-13 years old

In class

Our objectives

In this activity you will:

  • Be informed about climate change, its main causes and impacts.
  • Question how  climate change is significant for your life.
  • Be informed about actions at the countries level to cope with the climate change.
  • Question about what you can do about climate change.

Things to use

Notebook and pens

Water-readings

The greenhouse

Have you ever visited a greenhouse? It might be pretty cold outside, however inside the greenhouse the plants are doing fine: it’s warm and sunny! Greenhouses are constructed by glass or plastic in such a way to retain the temperature inside them.

Τhe “greenhouse” effect

The planet’s atmosphere is “trapping” the sunbeams just like a greenhouse does. Not all sunbeams enter the Earth’s system to keep it warm: a part of them bounces  back to the outer space.

If Earth didn’t have the atmosphere which traps the sun’s heat, the average temperature would be -18°C (!) instead of the current +15°C. This means that the Earth would be a dead frozen planet. It is due to the atmosphere’s that life and its evolution in all its forms have found the enabling conditions on our planet.

What is the climate change?

The amount of that remains in the atmosphere and the amount that goes back to the space is controlled by a delicate balance due to the gases that the atmosphere contains, and not only, oxygen, nitrogen but also: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, water vapor (the so-called “greenhouse gases”). These gases are produced mainly from the emissions of burning the fossil fuels  such as oil, coal, etc. Because of the over-production of the greenhouse gases the delicate balance is disturbed, the atmosphere is overheated, contributing to the change.

 

Play & Learn

How can you tell that the climate is changing? Which of the two scenarios is an indication of climate change?

The weather in a place may vary from year to year, and some years might have higher temperatures

The climate change is occurring when we are talking about changes in the weather of a particular place that are taking place for a long-time.

Play & learn

What is the impact of various factors and human activities on the climatic system on Earth? Move the mouse over the images to find out how agriculture & livestock, factories, plantation, oceans, etc.  affect the climate.

 climate-change-challenges quiz-hotspot
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Group activity

What does climate change practically mean?

Due to climate change, the Earth’s average temperature has already risen by 1.2 ° C. Scientists are warning that if we do not reduce the greenhouse emissions, the average temperature can rise from 4°C to 6°C in the coming decades.

“And what damage can make 1 or 2 degrees difference?  some may be wondering. This temperature difference may seem like almost nothing but is too great for ecosystems and organisms. Just think about the following:

  • How do you feel every time you have a fever? When your temperature rises from 36.6°C to 37°C (less than a half degree) how many changes are taking place in your body? With a fever at 38°C, that is 1.4°C above normal, most of us fall into bed!
  • During the last ice age (some 12,000 years ago) the northern and central parts of Europe was covered by ice. Do you guess how lower was at that time the average temperature of the earth compared to the present one? It was only 5 degrees lower!

Scientists warn that in the years to come severe floods and droughts will continue, glaciers will shrink, sea levels will rise. Of course, climate change is often so slow that it takes several years for us to realize it. But there are changes that already affect us in the place we live in and we need to adapt.

Discussion Points


  • Discuss in your groups and give at least one example on how climate change is affecting your everyday life.  Present your examples in class.

Water-readings

The Paris Convention

In 2015, the leaders of 200 countries took a historic decision in Paris. They agreed to take steps not to increase the planet’s temperature by more than 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, which is considered the lowest safe limit by scientists. A bigger increase would be catastrophic.  If we consider that the average global temperature has already risen by 1.2°C (based on reports, etc) then it’s obvious that our time limits are narrowing dramatically.

Climate Justice

Not all countries contribute to climate change per se, nor they all bear the same impacts of it. For example, African countries that are vulnerable to droughts and floods account for only 3% of the world’s greenhouse gases emissions. On the contrary, Europe and North America, with about the same population as Africa, together account for the 2/3 of the emissions. This makes clear that the richer countries enjoy a “consumer lifestyle” at the expense of the poorest ones.

Unfortunately, inequalities exist also within the countries: the vulnerable groups of citizens usually live in small houses, have small cars, etc., therefore they have a less share of the greenhouse gas emissions. However these people are usually ones most affected, e.g. by living in degraded areas vulnerable to floods or heatwaves, simply because they cannot afford moving. It is important to keep in mind the above in the actions we decide to take to reduce as much as we can these inequalities.

Group activity

What can we do about climate change?

 

In your groups think and discuss about the following questions and fill in the table:

Discussion Points


  1. What a school community- including teachers, students, directors, families, etc – can do about climate change?  Identify some examples of actions e.g. a local campaign.
  2. How could you stimulate the above people  e.g. through the social media?
Who What (action) How to stimulate people
Students
Teachers
School principal
Technicians
School canteen staff
Parents
Neighbors
Municipality

Water shares

A card for the climate…

Think of someone you wish to sensitize about the climate change in order to shift towards a more climate-friendly attitude. It might be a friend, a family member, even the city mayor or the prime minister!

Send him/her a card to make him/her change behavior. You can draw on one side and on the other write your message.

Send us a copy of your card to info@medies.net   We would love to receive it!


Water meter

I liked this activity . . .

Way forward

Surfing around the Internet

Watch a video clip about the greenhouse effect (Deutse Welle, 2012) .

Together with your parents visit this online calculator to estimate your carbon footprint, how much carbon dioxide (CO2) you and your family release depending on your habits and activities.

Dive in…

Rainwater Harvesting Systems in practice and Greywater recycling in practice to learn how rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling respectively can support us to deal with the climate change challenges.

Go back to the homepage!

The water basins

Water in the city

Desalination

Do you know about grey water?

Rainwater harvesting

Greywater recycling in practice

Wastewater treatment

The water cycle in a bowl!

Waterworks through time

Climate change challenges

Rainwater Harvesting Systems in practice

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle

Water resources

Where do I begin?

The water basins

In this activity we learn what a water drainage basin is and why it is important for the experts to study it.

Continue!

Water in the city

What is the "urban water cycle"? Which are the important aspects of water management within a city environment?

Continue!

Desalination

Let's find out how sea and brackish water can become a freshwater resource!

Continue!

Do you know about grey water?

Let's find out what "greywater” is and how we can use it!

Continue!

Rainwater harvesting

Can do we collect rainwater? And how do we use it? Let's find out!

Continue!

Greywater recycling in practice

How a grewywater system is installed? Let's find out!

Continue!

Wastewater treatment

In this activity we learn about how wastewater is treated and what we can do with the treated water.

Continue!

The water cycle in a bowl!

Let's travel within the water cycle!

Continue!

Waterworks through time

Let's discover the story behind the historic fountains, cisterns and aqueducts of our town!

Continue!

Climate change challenges

Time to discuss about climate change, causes and impact and how we can cope with it.

Continue!

Rainwater Harvesting Systems in practice

What are the various types of rainwater harvesting systems? Let's find out more about them!

Continue!

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle

What is my water footprint and how can I reduce it?

Continue!

Water resources

Discovering the water resources of our region.

Continue!

Where do I begin?

Let's see why it is important to know about water in our region.

Continue!