Using the IPCC Report to Teach about Climate

Sian Hayley Proctor, Geology, South Mountain Community College


I would like to create a real-world lesson using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Change 2013 Summary Report. This report is designed to provide a clear view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change. There is a summary report for policy makers that includes highlighted conclusions covering 1) Observed Changes in the Climate System; 2) Drivers of Climate Change; 3) Understanding the Climate System and its Recent Changes, and 4) Future Global and Regional Climate change. There is a 10 minute video that explains the process so that students can better understand how the report was created. I think this will be a very good lesson to introduce climate change to students.

Individuals with expertise/responsibilities in the following areas have helped create the case study:
The stakeholders involved are everyone because this is a global issue. The report was written by an international panel consisting of authors from over 10 countries.

Key teaching points:
The key concepts are:
  1. What are the observed changes in the climate system?
  2. What are the drivers of climate change?
  3. How do we understand the climate system and its recent changes?
  4. What will the future global and regional climate change be?

How this example is used in the classroom:
I envision that this will be used in maybe a jigsaw fashion where each concept is given to a group of students to analyze and then present to the class. I think it will be a great way to introduce climate change to students. I would start with everyone watching the video and then dividing each section of the report to the designated groups. I would maybe have the students create a final PowerPoint about their question to the rest of the class.


The websites are:
Climate Change 2013 Video:

Climate Change 2013 Summary Report: