Latest News, Teacher Action, Conference Papers, Documents by the IPCC and national Science bodies, Teaching Resources, What can I do to help

Latest News:

Climate Science for Sceptics

A website called ‘Climate Science for Sceptics’ by Keith Burrows. The purpose of the website is to explain climate science and climate change to those who have uncertainties or questions about climate change, rather than being concerned with intransigent deniers. The content will be of value to VCE Unit 1 students. Keith is also currently developing sections of the website specifically for VCE Physics students.
Two brief documents outlining climate science and the renewable energy solutions:

Climate Change – Solutions 568 kB

A brief document outlining the very important place of renewable energy as part of the solution to climate change.

Our Climate: Past, Present, Future 431 kB

A brief document outlining the reasons climate scientists are concerned that we are causing irreparable damage to the Earth’s climate.

Teacher Action on Climate Change

Science teachers have the knowledge base to understand climate change and the communication skills to explain it. We can be an important factor in increasing the community’s understanding of this most crucial issue.

The Vicphysics Teachers’ Network established an initiative “Science Teachers for Climate Awareness” (SciTCA). The purpose of which was to raise the awareness of the voting public, starting with your teaching colleagues at your school, and then the parent body, and other community groups.

SciTCA Climate Change Workshops

The SciTCA Committee has developed a package of a selection of PowerPoint presentations, booklets and information sheets. It also organised Climate Change workshops on this material. Five workshops were held ending in 2012.

The presentations from the last SciTCA workshop, Climate Change for Science Teachers on 2 April 2012 are available for download from the box below. If you are interested in more on the BZE Zero Carbon Australia Plan you could look at ‘Can the world move to renewable energy in time?’ above – or click on this link to go to the Beyond Zero Emissions website

Links to websites referred to in the SciTCA Workshop 2 April 2012 164 kB

A document containing links to various websites referred to at the SciTCA Workshop. This document will be updated from time to time. This version 3 April 2012

Climate Change – Science, Society and Us, Dr Graeme Pearman 2.22 MB

This is Dr Graeme Pearman’s presentation from the SciTCA workshop 2 April 2012

Changes in Weather and Climate Extremes, Prof Neville Nicholls 5.66 MB

This is Prof Neville Nicholls’s presentation from the SciTCA workshop 2 April 2012

A Sustainable Energy Plan for Australia, Prof Peter Seligman 7.37 MB

This is Prof Peter Seligman’s presentation from the SciTCA workshop 2 April 2012

SciTCA Workshop – Bits ‘n Pieces, Keith Burrows 5.77 MB

The slides from Keith’s looping power point from the SciTCA workshop 2 April 2012

To access materials from past workshops and conferences, see below for recent events or click here for more

Department of Climate Change responds to Plimer’s “Expelled” book

At the beginning of this year the IPA sent copies of Ian Plimer’s very misleading book How to get expelled from school to all schools. It seems to have mostly died a well deserved death, but if it is still in your school library perhaps a copy of a recent document published by the Australian Government Department of Climate Change: “Accurate Answers to Professor Plimer’s 101 Climate Change Science Questions” should be placed with it. Click on this link to go to the Department’s web page to download this document as well as some other good summaries of basic climate science from AAS, CSIRO etc.

STCA Workshop 19th March 2011

Graeme Pearman’s Presentation Science Society and Us 2.19 MB

Dr Graeme Pearman’s presentation at the March 19 2011 Science Teacher’s Climate Change workshop

Graeme Pearman’s Presentation Pricing Carbon 435 kB

Dr Graeme Pearman’s presentation on Pricing Carbon at the STCA Workshop 19 March 2011

Climate Change – the Bad News 4.01 MB

Keith Burrows’ presentation on the bad way in which climate action is often reported

Climate Change – the GOOD NEWS (BZE) 11.2 MB

Keith Burrows presentation on ways in which we can move to 100% renewable energy. Largely focuses on the Beyond Zero Emissions – Zero Carbon Australia plan available from the Beyond Zero Emissions link below.

Climate Science presentation 8.8 MB

This is the presentation given by Dan O’Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers’ Network. It is the same one listed on the next page as ‘AIP Power Point’

Discussion papers

Discussion paper on Climate Change 35.3 kB

The AIP (Vic Branch) Education Committee is concerned about the level of understanding by the community of the likely causes and implications of climate change and it feels that science teachers are well placed to address these concerns.  This discussion paper considers possible roles that this web page, the Committee and science teachers in general could play. The Committee welcomes comment, discussion and feedback. These can be sent to the chair of the Committee, in ‘Contact Us’ at the top of the page.

What’s wrong with climate deniers 977 kB

A presentation on the claims of climate deniers. A typical presentation by climate denier Leon Ashby is considered and shown to be very misleading. His arguments are similar to most denier claims and so it is not necessary to have seen his particular document.

Countering Climate Confusion 6.24 MB

What do we say to climate ‘sceptics’? This presentation suggests some answers to this question. It is important to remember the basic reasons for concern and not get too tangled in the confusion that deniers find it so easy to create. See also ‘Could Climate Sceptics be Right?’ in the next group. KB

Physics Teachers’ Conference Papers

Presentations from Keith’s Feb 2015 Science teacher conference presentations and Nov 2014 STAVCON

Note: At the Physics Conference and at STAVCON we only looked at the problems not the solutions. I suggest you also look at the ‘Climate Science – The Good News’ presentation for … well the GOOD news! The second file below is mostly looking at the problem of communicating climate science against the backdrop of appalling media coverage of the issue (notably in ‘The Australian’). The third file below is the presentation about climate science – it is rather large and unwieldy and I am planning to break it up into more manageable sections. Look back in a week or two for the new version!

These are the presentations from the VCE Physics, Chem and Biol conferences Feb 2015

Climate Science – The Good News 18 MB

The way Australia could become a climate leader instead of laggard by showing the world how we could achieve 100% renewable energy – based on the BZE ZCA 2020 report.

Recent climate science in the media 8.74 MB

Sensible discussion of climate change action is severely hampered by very bad media treatment particularly from ‘The Australian’. It consistently publishes grossly misleading articles read by many of the more ‘influential’ members of society. As science teachers we can do something to help counter this.

Climate Science – Physics and Chem conferences 2015 18.6 MB

An intro to climate science

The Physics of the Climate 7.71 MB

A presentation on the physics of climate change from the sessions by Keith Burrows at the Physics Conference 2009. This is aimed at senior students but could be adapted to younger students by leaving out the more advanced slides.

An Introduction to the Science of the Climate 848 kB

A six page document outlining the basic science of the climate. It looks at the way the climate has changed in the past and the possible implications of our addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Keith Burrows

Science Teachers for Climate Awareness 5.63 MB

Presentation from all VCE science teachers conferences Feb 2011 on why we need science teachers to get involved in talking about climate change in the community. Keith Burrows AIP (Vic Branch) education Committee.

The Science of Climate Change 8.66 MB

A presentation described at the STAV Feb 2010 teachers conferences by Keith Burrows AIP (Vic Branch) education Committee.

Could Climate Sceptics be Right? 15.3 MB

This is a presentation used at STAVCON 2009 and at the Feb 2010 teachers conferences by Keith Burrows on climate change sceptics. It contains answers to common climate denier arguments. It will be updated from time to time to deal with recent issues.

The following are from previous STAVCONs and Science conferences.

Climate Science & Solutions Part 4 – STAVCON 2013 19.4 MB

How Australia could go to zero emission stationary energy in a decade – given the political will.

Keith Burrows Renewable Energy presentation at the VCE Science Conferences Feb 2013STAVCON 2012 16.4 MB

A presentation on why and how Australia can go to 100% renewable energy within a decade. Workshop A6 from the Physics Teachers’ Conference.

Keith Burrows Climate Science presentation at the VCE Science Conferences Feb 2013STAVCON 2012 13.5 MB

A description of the science of climate change. Session B12 at the Physics Teachers’ Conference.

Keith Burrows presentation: Climate Science & Science Teachers at Conasta 2012 20.3 MB

How and why science teachers could play a key role in helping everyone understand the climate problem.

Keith Burrows presentation: “Can the world move to renewable energy in time?” at Stavcon 2012 17.2 MB

Can the world move to renewable energy in time to avoid a climate catastrophe? YES! But the question is will we?

Keith Burrows Climate Science presentation at STAVCON 2012 24.3 MB

A description of the science of climate change

Keith Burrows Climate Science INTRODUCTION only presentation at STAVCON 2012 6.28 MB

This is just the first part of the Climate Science presentation dealing with some recent climate news and some ‘denier’ reaction to it.

Documents by the IPCC and international and national Science bodies

The Australian Academy of Science’s comments on the Joint science academies’ statement: Climate change adaptation and the transition to a low carbon society

“The Australian Academy of Science notes the statement on climate change by the academies of science for the G8+5 countries. Although the Australian Academy was not involved in the drafting of the statement because it is not a member of this group, we do endorse the concerns expressed in the statement. As recently summarised by the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the increases in global average temperature and sea level are unambiguous and are almost certainly primarily due to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Joint science academies’ statement: Global response to climate change (June 2005)

The national science academies of the G8 nations and Brazil, China and India, three of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world, have signed a statement on the global response to climate change. This link is to the web page of the Royal Society, where the document can be accessed as well as their press release. June 2005.

Joint science academies’ statement: Energy Sustainability and Security (June 2006)

G8 countries bear a special responsibility for the current high level of energy consumption, and should play a leading role in assuring global energy sustainability and security. The national science academies of the G8 nations and Brazil, China, India and South Africa, have signed a statement on this issue. This link is to a web page of the Royal Society which contains the report as well as their press release. (June 2006)

AAAS Statement on Climate Change

The Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science issued this one page statement on Climate Change in December 2006.

AAAS Conference on Communicating and Learning about Climate Change

The AAAS held a conference for teachers, students, learners and communicators in Feb 2007. This link includes: a video on Climate Change and Human Well Being; An Abbreviated Guide for Teaching Climate Change; Opening remarks (video and ppt)and the video, ppt and pdf of presentations on ‘Understanding climate science’, ‘In search of solutions’, ‘Profitable climate solutions’, ‘Cuting carbon emissions’ and ‘Teaching future innovators’.

Global Warming: Facts and Our Future

An extensive resource by the Science Museum of the US National Academy of Sciences. It includes IT activities, classroom activities as well as explanatory material on ‘The Greenhouse Effect, ‘Carbon Cycle’, ‘Causes of Change’, ‘Past Change’, ‘Predicted Change’, ‘Impacts of Change’ and ‘Responses to Change’.

Climate Change 2007: The Synthesis Report by the IPCC

An executive summary of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (November 2007)

Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. The IPCC

The summary for Policy makers of the second of four 2007 reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (April 2007) (16 pages)

Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the unmanageable and managing the unavoidable

The Executive Summary of the report by the Scientific Expert Group Report on Climate Change and Sustainable Development for for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (12 pages)

Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science basis. The IPCC

The first of four 2007 reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (February 2007) (21 pages)

Sir David King video “Climate Change: State of Urgency: the Science, the Impacts and Maintaining a Growing Economy”

This is the web page of the Press Room of the AAAS. Go down to ‘Events’ and select ‘video of Sir David King’s presentation’ for streaming video. The presentation goes for 1 hr 21 min. Sir David is the chief UK Scientific advisor and co-author of the book ‘The Hot Topic: How to tackle global warming and still keep the lights on’.

The imperatives for Action from the Science of Climate Change

Text of of a speech by Sir David King, chief UK scientific advisor, to the AAAS in February 2004. (7 pages)

Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA)

The website of ACIA, an international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet radiation and their consequences. The results of the assessment were released at the ACIA International Scientific Symposium held in Reykjavik, Iceland in November 2004. The site has links to the 140 page synthesis report “Impacts of a Warming Arctic”, as well as the Scientific Report and the Policy Report.

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

The website of AGU. For their position statement on Climate Change go to the bottom of the page and select ‘Science & Policy’, then ‘Position Statements’. If you type in ‘Climate Change’ in the search box at the top right of the home page, you get an extensive selection of their papers that give a comprehensive analysis of the research.

Climate change science misinformation

An article by Prof David Karoly, University of Melbourne and IPCC leader, published on the ABC’s ‘Unleashed’ website, that identifies the falsehoods about climate change that regularly appear in some sections of the media.

Joint science academies’ statement: Climate change adaptation and transition to a low carbon society (June 2008)

The national science academies of the G8 nations and Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa have signed a statement on climate change adaptation and the transition to a low carbon society. Adaptation is necessary if the worst impacts of climate change, now and in the future, are to be alleviated. Mitigation and adaptation can complement each other and if pursued together can significantly reduce the risks of climate change impacts. This link is to a web page of the Royal Society which contains the report as well as their press release. (June 2008)

The Royal Society: Climate Change resources

This site has an extesniove range of resources on the categories of ‘Climate Science’, ‘Facts and fictions about climate change’, ‘Global climate change policy’, all their ‘policy statements and reports’ on climate change, ‘Personal views on climate change by some prominent members of the Royal Society’ and ‘Climate change controversies: a simple guide’ which outlines and rebuts common misleading arguments.

RealClimate: Climate science from climate scientists

A useful feature of the website is the ‘Start Here’ section. Select this and it displays the following headings: ‘For complete beginners’, ‘Those with some knowledge’, ‘Informed but need more detail’, ‘Informed but seeking serious discussion of common contrarian talking points’. Each of these has several links on offer.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology: Climate Change

“I expect climate change to affect all Australians. It is the Bureau’s responsibility to provide decision makers and the general public with accurate observations and information about our changing climate.” Dr. Geoff Love, Director of Meteorology.  The website has sections on ‘Climate variability and change’ for both Australia and the globe, ‘Observing Australian Climate Change’ and ‘Future Australian Climate Change’.

Teaching Resources

Capturing the Greenhouse gang

A “NOVA – Science in the News” web page published by the Australian Academy of Science. a detailed introductory page is supported by sections on ‘Key text’, ‘Activities’, ‘Glossary’, ‘Further reading’ and ‘Useful sites’.

The Stabilization Wedge game

The game is a hands-on learning tool that helps students learn the impacts of different strategies for reducing greenhouse gases. 16 pages of background notes, instructions, lesson plans and worksheets.

Communicating and Learning about Climate Change

An Abbreviated Guide for Teaching Climate Change, from Project 2061 at AAAS. (32 pages). Project 2061 is a US ‘Science Frameworks’ style project. The guide shows how Climate Change fits in with Project 2061. The concept maps, particularly the latter ones are quite useful.

Video: Communicating and Learning About Global Climate Change

This link is to the web page of the Press Room of the AAAS. Go down to ‘AAAS Resources for Teachers’ and select ‘AAAS Climate Change Movie’ for streaming video. The video runs for 12 min. It can also be downloaded.

Climate Science for Sceptics

A website called ‘Climate Science for Sceptics’ by Keith Burrows. The purpose of the website is to explain climate science and climate change to those who have uncertainties or questions about climate change, rather than being concerned with intransigent deniers. The content will be of value to VCE Unit 1 students. Keith is also currently developing sections of the website specifically for VCE Physics students.

What can I do to help

Carbon Footprint Calculator for Students

This website by ‘Zerofootprint’ has a simple to use carbon calculator available in several languages. International comparisons of CO2 use are also available. There is a resources link for teachers and parents.

Top 50 Things To Do To Stop Global Warming

A list compiled by “GlobalWarming-Facts.info”. Most are the usual suggestions, but ther may be a few that are unfamiliar. The link is also on the AAAS site.

CO2 emissions calculator

A calculstor from the US National Academy of Sciences. A range of personal and national actions that could be taken to reduce CO2 emissions are displayed. You can pick one or more to see its effect on total emissions in the United States.