Climate change is one of the most controversial global issues of the 21st century. In this topic learners will analyse patterns of climate change from the start of the Quaternary period to the present day, considering the reliability of a range of evidence for the changes. Learners will study the theories relating to natural climate change and consider the influence of humans on the greenhouse effect. Social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change at both local and global scales will be examined.
2.1 What evidence is there to suggest climate change is a natural process?
a. What evidence is there for climate change?
- The pattern of climate change from the beginning of the Quaternary period to the present day.
- The range and reliability of evidence relating to climate change including evidence from sea ice positions, ice cores, global temperature data, paintings and diaries.
b. Is climate change a natural process?
- Outline the causes of natural climate change including the theories of sun spots, volcanic eruptions and Milankovitch cycles.
- Investigate the natural greenhouse effect and the impacts that humans have on the atmosphere, including the enhanced greenhouse effect.
c. Why is climate change a global issue?
- Explore a range of social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change worldwide such as those resulting from sea level rise and extreme weather events. The impacts studied should relate to the 21st century.
- Explore a range of social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change within the UK such as the impact on weather patterns, seasonal changes and changes in industry. The impacts studied should relate to the 21st century.