UWHS ATMS 211 : Culminating Project: Scientific Evidence for Anthropogenic Climate Change

created by Nicole Widger, Atmospheric Sciences (2012)

Background Information

Students create a consensus scientific report similar to the Climate Change Assessment Reports developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Background information on the IPCC is available at: http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.shtml

As of 2012, there are four assessment reports (AR1-AR4) and the fifth report is scheduled for completion in 2013. The preface for AR4 gives a brief introduction to the history of IPCC reports: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/frontmattersforeword.html

Each of the four assessment reports represents the scientific consensus on climate change at the time the reports were written (AR1: 1990; AR2: 1995; AR3: 2001; AR4: 2007). The four assessment reports, along with other IPCC reports, are located on the IPCC website: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml

Focus Questions


  • How have people influenced the Earth’s climate?
  • How has our understanding of anthropogenic climate change shifted over time?
  • How certain are we that anthropogenic climate change is occurring?


  • Learning Goals


  • Read and understand scientific reports
  • Write a research report with citations
  • Develop expertise in a climate change topic
  • Present research results visually and orally