The Science of Climate Change
by Blair H. Lee

Price at time of review: $24.00
92 pp.
Secular Eclectic Academic Publishing
ISBN: 9781947473003

Grade Level: 4-8

Reviewed by Elizabeth Vroom

The Science of Climate Change: A Hands–On Course has a unique approach to helping students better understand climate change and take action. This is an incredible resource for students and their teachers to learn about what causes climate change and what we can do in our everyday lives to solve this problem.

The book is a workbook with supportive illustrations and charts throughout that are specifically structured to make understanding the topic of greenhouse gases and climate change accessible. There are four parts to the workbook followed by a glossary, list of supplies, and an extensive appendix which includes worksheets, answers, and additional supportive information. Part 1 covers the Greenhouse Effect and starts with an estimation exercise (“How Many Molecules Are in a Box of Air?”) to better understand air and the gases that make up air. There is a simple and relevant activity to model dry air which helps the reader/student understand the bonds of the elements that are present in air and how a small amount of these elements can have a big effect when it comes to absorbing the Sun’s energy. This model is followed by an experiment that helps the reader understand how vibrating molecules of air add to the Greenhouse Effect. Part 2 is about Global Warming and builds directly on the background of the first section. In part 2 we learn about the Industrial Revolution and the creation of numerous machines no longer powered by mechanical animal energy. Readers are led through how combustion works and how energy for the machines humankind has come to depend on is produced. There is a simple activity which illustrates combustion followed by math and graphing activities which explain how vibrating molecules heat things up and how the concentrations of greenhouse gases has increased since 2000 to 2016. Coupling this data with historical global temperature and the changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in air and how the oceans’ temperatures have warmed creates a platform for deeper understanding of global warming. Part 3 takes the student/reader through weather data and has an exercise where students observe the weather and use data available on the internet to analyze a 30 year weather pattern for where they live. There is information about the evidence of climate change and the scientific method in part 3. Extreme weather is discussed and an activity about the melting sea ice helps us understand the effect of rising temperatures on plants and animals. There is an activity to help us understand through a model how hard it can be to avoid something that is occurring very rapidly. Part 4 is all about “What Can Be Done to Help?” This section of the workbook focuses on solutions. How everyone will need to help and how humans are creating machines that pollute much less. This is followed by information about what a kid a can do to help reduce their carbon footprint.

The Science of Climate Change: A Hands–On Course is a much needed resource for understanding climate change and gets into the details of climate change in a way that increases understanding for both kids and adults alike. This is a great, user friendly book for all of us who need to understand the complex issue of climate change.

Review posted on 11/2/2017

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