WHY FOCUS ON ANTARCTICA IN CLIMATE CHANGE INSTRUCTION?
Most people know very little about Antarctica’s amazing landscape. Scientists study this glacial region to learn about the earth’s climate and how it may change in the future. As our polar regions warm due to climate change, ice sheets melt. Sea ice plays an important role in global temperatures as it reflects radiation from the sun. Less sea ice leads to warmer oceans and a warmer climate.
WHAT DO PENGUINS HAVE TO DO WITH GLOBAL WARMING?
There are 17 different species of penguins, which live only in the southern hemisphere. Nearly all penguins live south of the equator, but only a few species live on snow and ice. In addition to loss of habitat resulting from melting sea ice, extreme weather conditions are another effect of global warming. Drastic changes in weather conditions are making chicks more vulnerable to predation and starvation, which puts entire species of penguins at risk of becoming endangered or extinct.
ABOUT THE PENGUINS & ANTARCTICA EDUCATOR’S GUIDE:
This guide’s activities are designed for grades 3-5, with extensions for younger and older students. These activities meet national standards for English/Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Visual Arts.