Is the Earth's climate is changing? The answer is yes. The climate is changing continually; it always has and always will. The real questions are whether human activity is changing the climate in ways that nature did not intend and what are the consequences. Is global warming the cause of more frequent droughts, stronger storms and less snow in the mountains? In this lecture we will look at what scientists know about both natural and human-caused climate change and the research tools used to study the climate, such as satellites and computer models.

See this lecture on UCTV. Refer to the complete UCTV Science on Saturday lecture series for more details.

Student Lecture Notes

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The following concepts are important to understand climate change:

1. Water absorbs heat when it evaporates and gives off heat when it condenses.



2. Energy comes from the sun, is stored and redistributed.



3. The earth emits infrared radiation, which is lost to space.



4. Convection currents result when warm air rises and cold air sinks.  The same is true for water.



5. Weather systems and ocean circulations redistribute energy on earth.


Climate Modeling

1. What is climate modeling?


2. What do we know about climate change?


3. What do we still need to learn?


Speaker Bios

Dr.Dave Bader

Chief Scientist, US Department of Energy's Climate Change Prediction Program
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

David C. Bader received his PhD (Atmospheric Science) in 1985 from Colorado State University. Since June 2003, he has been Director, Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, which coordinates major international climate model evaluation and intercomparison activities for the World Climate Research Programme. He is also Chief Scientist for the US Department of Energy's Climate Change Prediction Program. From 1990 to 2002, he developed and managed climate modeling and computational research programs for the Office of Science, US Department of Energy (DOE) and was DOE's principal representative for climate research and climate modeling to interagency working groups and committees. He was a lead author of the interagency US Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan, Chapter 10: Modeling Strategy and in 2001 was chair of interagency Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) Working Group on Climate Modeling. He was the US Government review coordinator of the climate model evaluation chapters for Second and Third IPCC Working Group I Assessments.

Barry Marson

Science Teacher
Tokay High School, Lodi Unified School District

Barry Marson teaches chemistry and AP chemistry at Tokay High School in Lodi. He has taught in Lodi Unified School District for 35 years and is a charter member of the Tokay High staff. He has a Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences and a Masters Degree in Biochemistry, both from University of California, Davis.

While at LLNL Barry has been an instructor with the Student Research Academy. He currently works with science teachers in the ETEC summer workshops. Barry has also spent the last four years mentoring groups of students who monitor the effects of storm drain effluent on the Mokelumne River, a program sponsored by the City of Lodi. His involvement has allowed him to combine his academic interests, his interest in student field work and research with his concern for environmental issues. He has been named Educator of the Year for Tokay High School and Teacher of the Year for Lodi Unified School District.

Mr. Marson was the 1991 educator of the year in Lodi Unified School District.