Pre-Course Assignment

Causes of Climate Change 101

Purpose: Before the course begins, we wanted to give everyone a basic understanding of the causes of climate change. Our course will really focus on the impacts that we are observing and actions youth that you work with might be able to take to do something about these impacts. However, a working knowledge of the causes of climate change will assist us in understanding the impacts better.


1. Read through the Climate Literacy Principles and the Energy Literacy Principles.

2. Watch the following 4 short videos. It will take you less than a half an hour. For each video make a note of which Climate Literacy Principle and which Energy Literacy Principle stands out for you.

Optional background info: This video by Dr. Katie Spellman mentions the GLOBE Earth Systems Poster activity found here. Note you'll submit your discussion post in Blackboard (not in a Google+ forum).

3. Log on to Blackboard and share your reflection about the four videos and related climate literacy and energy literacy principles in the assigned discussion board. This could be a simple list, a table, or a paragraph.

4. What questions are circling around in your head about the causes of climate change and its impacts in the Arctic? Write ONE question at the end of your discussion post in Blackboard.

This assignment is required for your course credit.

BONUS: Take the self-guided Climate Literacy Quiz and take the Energy Literacy Quiz. Read the January 14, 2021 NASA press release about why 2020 tied as the warmest year on record. To better understand the greenhouse effect and how the Arctic is being impacted by accelerated warming, review the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (2019 update) and do the greenhouse gas simulation.

Complete the greenhouse gas simulation!