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Getting Schooled on Climate Change

Global warming – is it or isn’t it? That seems to be the question a lot lately.

Researchers have been following a 1600 year old ice formation and have been documenting its downgrading. It has taken only 25 years for this massive landmark to melt.

According to scientists, the effects of global warming have played the major role in melting the massive glacial structure in the Andes, the Quelccaya Ice Cap.

Remarkably, researchers acquired and studied samples of the ice structure’s core. They were able to inspect plant life as well as unearth discoveries about the climate spanning almost the past two thousand years, encapsulating its deterioration.

Another examination into a previous weather event, a severe drought that affected areas in several Midwestern U.S. states in 2012 has been declared a natural, though rare act. After analyzing 6 states that had unprecedented rain shortages, scientists have come to the conclusion that this was not another occurrence to chalk up to global warming. Instead it was found to likely be a separate event actually caused by an abnormally northern located jet stream responsible for attracting humidity.

The research and current information regarding climate change are not only for the news headlines, but may also be making a permanent appearance in the classroom.

In an attempt to revamp the science curriculum, schools in the U.S. will be receiving the choice to adopt new guidelines for science programs that educate students about global warming. The restructuring is termed the Next Generation Science Standards, and the plan is introduce middle school students to climate change. Advanced grades will concentrate in depth on the onset and causes of climate change. Many states are considering the change, which will be the first national adjustment since 1996.

There are many thoughts on the subject of global warming, and at times it may seem it has become the new scapegoat for all things wrong with the weather. There are naturally occurring fluctuations in the climate, but it is hard to argue that we haven’t altered some of them.

Studying the natural environment as well as man’s interaction with it and how this is relatable to the current changing climate offers worthwhile lessons to pay attention to.

Image Source: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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