Climate Lessons Update – February 2018

Letter to Climate Change Educators

This is a chart showing former Winter Olympic locations that are climatically suitable for future games. Credit: Daniel Scott, University of Waterloo

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea from February 9-25. In this edition of the Climate Lessons Update, we take a look at several Olympic-competing countries to see how climate change is impacting them and the work they are doing to find solutions. We hope you use this opportunity to bring a world view of climate change to your classroom. Explore our selected articles from various cities and countries that share what they are doing to mitigate and adapt to climate change, plus videos, media, and activities to bring to your students.

There are a couple things happening at Climate Generation this month, too. We released several scholarships for our Summer Institute for Climate Change Education. Apply now to participate in our three-day conference to increase your confidence and competence in teaching climate change.

Discover the impacts of climate change on the Arctic—the most rapidly changing region on the planet—through the eyes of our founder,Will Steger, this Spring on his Solo Expedition. You will have the opportunity to follow along on his 1,000-mile expedition with your students, listen to daily dispatches, and complete activities that coincide with his journey. Sign up here to follow along.

Kristen Poppleton & Jenna Totz
Education Program
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Impacts on the Olympic Games

Climate change has and will impact the Olympics for years to come. Read more and discuss with your class how the games might change and what new sports might emerge. Click To Tweet

Winter Olympics Inadvertently Adapting to Climate Change

Climate change became an official Winter Olympic issue in 1998 in the wake of the Nagano Games. However, the Games and the athletes that participate in them have been unwittingly preparing for climate change over their 90-year history.

Of 21 Winter Olympic Cities, Many May Soon Be Too Warm to Host the Games

Distill the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea to their essence and you get 15 sports that involve gliding on snow or ice. Yet, by 2050, climate change may cause many prior Winter Games locations to be too warm to ever host the Games again.

Climate Change and Sports

As the world warms, one often overlooked issue is climate change’s influence on sports and recreation. While not as life-threatening as extreme weather or as costly as droughts, the impact on sports is something that’s becoming increasingly common. Learn more about the impacts to cold and warm weather sports.

Climate Impacts on Countries

The Olympics are all about the countries of the world coming together in competition and camaraderie. Not all countries, however, are being impacted by climate change the same. Click To Tweet

The Saddest Olympic Celebration

There are plenty of ways to celebrate victory at the Olympics: You can do the Lightning Bolt like Usain Bolt. You can brag on Twitter. But rarely has anyone danced like David Katoatau did in Rio. He’s dancing because he’s not sure what else he can do at this point to help his sinking, storm-battered country.

What are Other Countries doing on Climate Change?

Although a few years old, this brief describes how a number of countries are taking on climate change, including adoption of greenhouse gas reduction targets, shifts to renewable energy, increases in energy efficiency, and restoration of forests.

Sweden Tackles Climate Change

Sweden takes the global battle against climate change seriously. More than half of Sweden’s national energy supply comes from renewables and a thorough legislation aims at further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

How Are Vulnerable Countries Adapting to Climate Change?

The International Institute for Sustainable Development recently undertook a standardized review that provides a baseline picture of national adaptation policy and practice in developing countries in Africa and Asia.

Super Bowl LII

We would be remiss to not mention another major February sporting event, held in the city where we office. Read more about how football seasons are changing in this awesome Climate Central article and the great energy work from U.S. Bank Stadium.

Featured Activities

Arctic Climate Curriculum: Exploring Arctic Climate Data

In this activity, students use authentic Arctic climate data to unravel causes and effects related to the seasonal melting of the snowpack and to further understand albedo.

Steroids, Baseball, and Climate Change

AtmosNews takes a lighthearted look at an unexpected analogy, explaining why some people call carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) the steroids of the climate system.

What We’re Reading

Same Sun Here: Don’t forget that our next #TeachClimate Network meeting is Feb 28th.

Moment of Inspiration

Olympic Gold Medalist Ted Ligety is Pro Snow

Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety is pro snow, but is snow pro Ted? Let’s take a look in this off-the-wall video that’s sure to tickle your laugh organ. Check out I Am Pro Snow.

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