Biodiversity and Climate Change

About This Video

Grade Level: 9-12

Length: 9 minutes

Next Generation Science Standards:

This video doesn’t cover the following standards in depth, but can serve as a supplemental resource in addition to current classroom curriculum.

HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.  

HS-LS2-6. Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

HS-LS4-5. Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in the environmental conditions may result in: (1) increase in the number of individual species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.

HS-LS4-6. Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.

Video Discussion Questions

  1. Why is biodiversity important?
  2. What is the relationship between climate and biodiversity?
  3. Historically, how has climate change influenced biodiversity?
  4. How can we make wildlife more resilient to climate change?

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Download student vocabulary

Classroom Activities

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Collecting data is a big part of the scientific process. Interpreting the data collected is even more important than the actual data itself! Practicing these skills is necessary when conveying and interpreting scientific concepts.  

Designing Solutions

What kinds of solutions might help humans mitigate and/or adapt to our changing climate? Below are some ideas for inspiring students to engage with brainstorming, planning, and implementing solutions.

  • Students will explore the meaning of biodiversity through this interactive resource from Crossing Boundaries. This experimental process will encourage students to evaluate and communicate their findings on bird biodiversity.
  • Students can investigate an interactive map indicating animal movement as climatic conditions change. The University of Washington and the Nature Conservancy created the animated map showing mammal, bird, and amphibian movement in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Students will explore habitat preservation through this observation activity. Botanic Gardens Conservation International provides a variety of activities and lesson plans focusing on the preservation of plants. Click here to access their website.

Carrying Out Investigations

When we carry out investigations we utilize the skills of collecting data and evidence. By doing this, we can better understand issues of climate change and come up with solutions.

  • Explore biomes and compare climates using Google Earth. This interactive program, designed by Earth Labs, encourages students to investigate layers and draw conclusions about the climate and weather of specific regions.
  • Check out a plethora of labs and classroom activities from the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers.