Teaching about how scientists study climate and past climate change provides not only a better understanding of science content, but also gives students a glimpse of how scientists conduct their work. Studying climate change involves careful measurements in the field and collecting data that will be used to estimate past climate. Students should learn why scientists study ice cores and tree rings, the elements or molecules scientists look for, and why these are important markers of changing climates.
Watch this video of 8th grade students in San Marcos, California—a coastal community. The purpose of this classroom video is to see students discuss gases trapped in ice and listen to what students do and do not understand when learning about this phenomenon.
For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "Evidence of Past Climate Change" in the Changing Climate Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 68.