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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Assessment

Regional Focus


Why Climate Matters

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  • This course explains how climate change impacts people, the economy, extinction, life on land, and ocean life. 
  • The course contains text, interactive questions, infographics, data charts, links to numerous references, and a final quiz. 

Teaching Tips


  • There are a number of comprehensive scientific reports and papers linked throughout the document for reference or further study.
  • The content is available in a number of different languages.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This course is part of a series of climate change courses from ClimateScience.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of climate change prior to beginning this course.
  • Students will need a computer and Internet connection to use the interactive features.


  • This course provides two levels of learning. Use the button in the top left of the page to toggle between "Simple" and "Advanced." The "Simple" setting is recommended for middle school students, while the "Advanced" setting is recommended for high school students.
  • Students can proceed through the content at their own pace, and stronger students can spend time reading and exploring any of the links to scientific papers or reports.
  • Due to the broad scope of the content provided in this course, it can easily be applied to economics, social studies, ELA, and science lessons.
  • Other resources related to these topics include this video on the 6th mass extinction, this interactive textbook lesson on climate change in Earth history, and this video on ecosystem dynamics, functioning, and resilience.
Scientist Notes
The resource presents reports on climate-related disasters, the impact of climate change on the economy, people's livelihoods, animal speciation and extinction, flooding, drought, and other natural hazards. The datasets used are valid, and the resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS.ESS2.2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 7.ESS3.2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • HS.LS4.4 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
  • Social Sciences
    • Economics (K-8)
      • 7.8 Examine how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
    • Economics: Global Economy (9-12)
      • HS.24 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, labor conditions, human rights, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
    • Geography (K-12)
      • HS.40 Use geographic data to analyze the interconnectedness of physical and human regional systems (such as a river valley and culture, water rights/use in regions, choice/impact of settlement locations) and their interconnectedness to global communities.
      • HS.48 Determine the influence of long-term climate change and variability on human migration, settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
  • Related Resources


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