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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

Changing Planet: Melting Glaciers

As the Earth system warms due to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, observations show that land-based glaciers are melting fast in many places around the world - in the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia.  Because of ice-albedo feedback, as ice melts, albedo rises, producing further warming and faster melting.  Model predictions indicate that the remaining large glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone by 2030. 

Click on the video at the left to watch the NBC Learn video - Changing Planet: Melting Glaciers.

Lesson plan: Changing Planet: Melting Glaciers

Last modified March 18, 2011 by Roberta Johnson.

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Traveling Nitrogen is a fun group game appropriate for the classroom. Players follow nitrogen atoms through living and nonliving parts of the nitrogen cycle. For grades 5-9.

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Cool It! Game

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Earth's Greenhouse Effect

Energy from the Sun can enter the atmosphere, but not all of it can easily find its way out again. This is a natural process called the greenhouse effect. Without any greenhouse effect, Earth’s temperature...more

Glaciers and Ice Sheets

For a glacier to develop, the amount of snow that falls must be more than the amount of snow that melts each year. This means that glaciers are only found in places where a large amount of snow falls each...more

Albedo

This picture shows a part of the Earth surface as seen from the International Space Station high above the Earth. A perspective like this reminds us that there are lots of different things that cover the...more

The Cryosphere

The cryosphere includes the parts of the Earth system where water is in its frozen (solid) form. This includes snow, sea ice, icebergs, ice shelves, glaciers, ice sheets, and permafrost soils. Approximately...more

Effects of Climate Change Today

The world's surface air temperature increased an average of 0.6° Celsius (1.1°F) during the last century according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This may not sound like very...more

Climate Change Teacher Resources

Many educators are now finding opportunities to teach about Earth's climate and climate change in their classrooms.  Windows to the Universe provides an interlinked learning ecosystem to a wealth of resources...more

Content for Climate Change Education Courses

Looking for online content that can be used for a climate change education course or module? Pages linked below can be used to support an introductory climate change education for either a unit or a full...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA