Climate Change and Animals

In Climate Change & Animals, students will briefly recap the science behind the greenhouse effect. They will discover how our changing climate impacts animals, including humans, as well as their habitats around the world. Through games and investigations, students will explore the issues facing animals in different habitats and focus on a case study highlighting what ZSL scientists are doing to help. Students will also understand what actions they can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

Coral reefs in the Maldives

Key Stage:KS4

Duration: 45-55 minutes

Capacity: 35 students


Specification Links (September 2016 onwards):

Links to Working Scientifically, Biology, Chemistry and Geography. Please click the following link for more details: PDF icon KS4 Curriculum Links (580.8 KB)


Intended Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Recall the science behind the greenhouse effect and give examples of how humans ‘enhance’ the greenhouse effect
  • Discuss a selection of common myths surrounding climate change
  • Give three examples of the risks of climate change on animals, including humans    
  • Give one example of a ZSL project that involves climate change research
  • Understand what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint                                                                 

Many objects from the natural world used in this session are loaned to us by HM Revenue and Customs.


Teacher Resources - PDF icon Climate Change and Animals - Teacher Resource Document.pdf (2.57 MB)

Before the session:

  • Recap with your class the science behind the greenhouse effect – this will be gone over briefly at the start of the session. Find the main terms to be included in your discussion on page 1 of the teacher resource document.

While at the zoo:

  • Visit some of the animals at the zoo from the ‘Risks of Climate Change’ activity, played during the session. Find a map of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo with the highlighted animals on, on page 5 of the teacher resource document.

After your visit:

  • Measure a tree to estimate the amount of carbon it holds. Find instructions and work sheets on pages 2, 3 and 4 of the resource document. All you need to provide is a tape measure and pen/pencil.
  • Discover two further ZSL projects, involving climate change research, with our PDF icon ZSL Projects Presentation (1.46 MB)PDF icon Powerpoint script (261.73 KB)