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Interactive Online Tool Teaches Users About Climate Change

Screenshot of the climate change science and modeling education module explaining the greenhouse gas effect. Without the natural greenhouse gas effect, the average temperature of the planet would be about zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Screenshot of the climate change science and modeling education module explaining the greenhouse gas effect. Without the natural greenhouse gas effect, the average temperature of the planet would be about zero degrees Fahrenheit.

As we celebrate Earth Day and think about ways to protect our environment, we cannot ignore the dramatic effects that climate change is having on our planet.

To help the U.S. Forest Service respond to a changing climate, the Climate Change Resource Center, an online portal to credible, relevant and timely information focused on forest management responses to climate change, recently released a new education resource on basic climate change science and climate modeling.

The new online interactive tool was designed to make climate change science accessible and easy to understand for Forest Service employees, as well as for land managers and the public. The 20-minute climate change module gives a brief overview of the climate system and the impact of greenhouse gases, and provides climate models, emissions scenarios, and information on current climate change impacts and future climate projections. Interactive features allow users to control their learning experience, with opportunities to explore outside links, and learn definitions and relevant facts.  Information is based on published, peer-reviewed literature and high-quality federal websites.

Climate change science and modeling learning material is followed by an activity that can be tailored to the user’s geographic region. Users earn a certificate for completing the module.

“Everyone plays an important role in sustaining the health of the nation’s forests and grasslands in a changing climate,” said Dave Cleaves, Forest Service Climate Change Advisor. “This online coursework will give Forest Service employees and the general public an exciting and convenient way to deepen their basic understanding of climate change science.”

Screenshot of the climate change science and modeling education module explaining the different emission scenario families from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. This section has an interactive feature that explores the projections and expectations for each family.

Screenshot of the climate change science and modeling education module explaining the different emission scenario families from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. This section has an interactive feature that explores the projections and expectations for each family.

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