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National Science Standards Addressed: Global Temperatures

As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of:

Content Standard A

USE TECHNOLOGY AND MATHEMATICS TO IMPROVE INVESTIGATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS. The use of computers for the collection, analysis, and display of data is also a part of this standard.

FORMULATE AND REVISE SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS AND MODELS USING LOGIC AND EVIDENCE. Student inquiries should culminate in formulating an explanation or model. Models should be physical, conceptual, and mathematical. In the process of answering the questions, the students should engage in discussions and arguments that result in the revision of their explanations. These discussions should be based on scientific knowledge, the use of logic, and evidence from their investigation.

RECOGNIZE AND ANALYZE ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS AND MODELS. This aspect of the standard emphasizes the critical abilities of analyzing an argument by reviewing current scientific understanding, weighing the evidence, and examining the logic to decide which explanations and models are best.

COMMUNICATE AND DEFEND A SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENT. Students in school science programs should develop the abilities associated with accurate and effective communication. These include writing and following procedures, expressing concepts, reviewing information, summarizing data, using language appropriately, developing diagrams and charts, explaining statistical analysis, speaking clearly and logically, constructing a reasoned argument, and responding appropriately to critical comments.


• Scientists usually inquire about how physical, living, or designed systems function. Conceptual principles and knowledge guide scientific inquiries. Historical and current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explanations made by other scientists.

• Scientists conduct investigations for a wide variety of reasons. For example, they may wish to discover new aspects of the natural world, explain recently observed phenomena, or test the conclusions of prior investigations or the predictions of current theories.

• Mathematics is essential in scientific inquiry. Mathematical tools and models guide and improve the posing of questions, data gathering, explanation construction, and results communication.

• Scientists rely on technology to enhance the gathering and manipulation of data. New techniques and tools provide new evidence to guide inquiry and new methods to gather data, thereby contributing to the advance of science. The accuracy and precision of the data, and, therefore, the quality of the exploration depend on the technology used.

Content Standard C

Life Science


Human beings live within the world's ecosystems. Increasingly, humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption. Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening current global stability, and if not addressed, ecosystems will be irreversibly affected.

The distribution and abundance of organisms and populations in ecosystems are limited by the availability of matter and energy and the ability of the ecosystem to recycle materials.

Content Standard D

Earth and Space Science


Global climate is determined by energy transfer from the sun at and near the Earth's surface. This energy transfer is influenced by dynamic processes such as cloud cover and Earth's rotation and static conditions such as the position of mountain ranges and oceans.


Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by Earth's internal and external sources of energy. These movements are often accompanied by a change in the physical and chemical properties of the matter. Carbon, for example, occurs in carbonate rocks such as limestone, in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide gas, in water as dissolved carbon dioxide, and in all organisms as complex molecules that control the chemistry of life.

Content Standard E

Science and Technology

EVALUATE THE SOLUTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. Students should test any solution against the needs and criteria it was designed to meet. At this stage, new criteria not originally considered may be reviewed.

COMMUNICATE THE PROBLEM, PROCESS, AND SOLUTION. Students should present their results to students, teachers, and others in a variety of ways, such as orally, in writing, and in other forms, including models, diagrams, and demonstrations.

The organizing principles for this standard do not identify specific personal and societal challenges; rather, they form a set of conceptual organizers, fundamental understandings, and implied actions for most contemporary issues. The organizing principles apply to local as well as global phenomena and represent challenges that occur on scales that vary from quite short—for example, natural hazards—to very long—for example, the potential result of global changes. Includes:

• Natural resources.
• Environmental quality.
• Natural and human-induced hazards.
• Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges.

Content Standard F

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives


Earth does not have infinite resources; increasing human consumption places severe stress on the natural processes that renew some resources, and it depletes those resources that cannot be renewed.


Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic processes that affect humans. Those processes include maintenance of the quality of the atmosphere, generation of soils, control of the hydrologic cycle, disposal of wastes, and recycling of nutrients. Humans are changing many of these basic processes, and the changes may be detrimental to humans.

Materials from human societies affect both physical and chemical cycles of the Earth.

Many factors influence environmental quality.


Natural and human-induced hazards present the need for humans to assess potential danger and risk. Many changes in the environment designed by humans bring benefits to society as well as cause risks. Students should understand the costs and tradeoffs of various hazards, ranging from those with minor risk to a few people to major catastrophes with major risk to many people.


Understanding basic concepts and principles of science and technology should precede active debate about the economics, policies, politics, and ethics of various science- and technology-related challenges.
Humans have a major effect on other species. For example, the influence of humans on other organisms occurs through land use—which decreases space available to other species—and pollution—which changes the chemical composition of air, soil, and water.

National Science Content Standards: