In this lesson, students will examine the impact of a high carbon scenario or “business as usual” greenhouse gas emissions on climate change variables across Canada and at a local scale. The goal is to understand the connection between increasing carbon in the atmosphere and associated impacts on our environment and wellbeing.
The Climate Atlas of Canada shows different possible future scenarios based on “high” and “low” carbon scenarios. Future projections are calculated using two possible greenhouse gas emissions scenarios that result in more or less severe levels of climate change. Comparing the two possible scenarios demonstrates the importance of taking climate action. For example, these images show the projections for the number of very hot days in southern Ontario for the recent past and for 2051-2080 under the high carbon (RCP8.5) and low carbon (RCP4.5) scenarios. Only reducing greenhouse gas emissions can make the difference between these possible climate futures. Read more in our High vs Low Carbon article. The“high” carbon scenario, or “more” climate change, is the projection based on current rates of greenhouse gas emissions.
Student Learning Targets
- Investigate and evaluate evidence that climate change is influenced by human activities.
- Describe how regions on a national and local level are impacted by climate change and how reducing carbon emission will reduce these impacts.
- Understand the varying effects of climate change across Canada.
- Give examples of the impacts of climate change on the environment, our health, and our livelihoods, to develop an understanding of climate change as more than an environmental issue.