Question Sheet: A Change in Climate


Before reading:

  1. Why are changes in climate reason for concern? 
  2. What might cause global warming?

During reading:

  1. How can even slight changes in average temperature affect plants and animals and their habitats? 
  2. “Our world is changing more rapidly than we have observed in the recent past,” Erik Beever says. Why does he say this? Where do scientists notice this shift? 
  3. When was the Little Ice Age? 
  4. Why are mountaintops more vulnerable to climate change than other habitats? 
  5. In what ways has the pika population changed in the last 10 years? Why? 
  6. What are some of the things that you can do to help prevent global warming?

After reading:

  1. How would you look for evidence of climate change in the area in which you live? What might be some indicators of changes in climate? What sort of data could you collect? 
  2. Why is the speed of the change in average temperature especially worrisome to scientists? 
  3. Besides mountaintops, what other areas might be especially vulnerable to climate change? 
  4. If Earth were getting colder rather than warmer, what dangers might there be for animals and plants in various habitats? 
  5. In addition to the suggestions made in the article, what other simple things could you do to change your daily life to help prevent global warming?


Some people say that there should be laws to help curb the threat of global warming. Others say that money spent on measures to prevent global warming would be better spent elsewhere. What are the main arguments that people use to support their positions? For examples, see (Roger Pielke Jr., University of Colorado). Find examples of politicians who are on each side of this issue.


  1. Write a letter to a politician explaining the possible effects of climate change on plants and animals and arguing whether the government should put money into fighting global warming. 
  2. Design a poster that would encourage kids to walk.


A bus releases about half a pound of carbon dioxide for every mile it is driven. Suppose you ride on a bus to and from school 7 miles each day. How many pounds of carbon dioxide are released in 1 week? If the average school year is 40 weeks long, what is the yearly total amount of carbon dioxide emissions for your bus ride?