Climate Change and Animals

Does climate change only matter to polar bears? In Climate Change and Animals students will discuss how our changing climate affects people and animals around the world. Using case studies of animals they can see in the zoo to illustrate each issue, students will investigate the different impacts of climate change on wildlife, and find out how they can take action to help.

Amur tiger at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Key Stage:KS4

Duration: 45 minutes

Capacity: 35 students

 

National Curriculum and Specification Links:

 

AQA GCSE Biology

B1.4 Interdependence and adaptation.

  • Develop an understanding of the ways in which adaptations enable organisms to survive.

B1.4.2 Environmental change.

  • Changes in the environment affect the distribution of living organisms.

B1.6.2 The carbon cycle.

  • Combustion of wood and fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

B3.4.1 Waste from human activity.

  • Rapid growth in the human population and an increase in the standard of living means that increasingly more waste is produced. Unless waste is properly handled, more pollution will be caused.

B3.4.2 Deforestation.

  • Large-scale deforestation in tropical areas has increased the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

B3.4.3 Biofuels.

  • Levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere are increasing and contribute to ‘global warming’. An increase in the Earth’s temperature of only a few degrees Celsius:

a) may cause big changes in the Earth’s climate.
b) may cause a rise in sea level.
c) may reduce biodiversity.
d) may cause changes in migration patterns, e.g. in birds.
e) may result in changes in the distribution of species.

Edexcel GCSE Biology

Unit B1 – Topic 3 – Problems of, and solutions to a changing environment.

  • 3.21 – Explain how the increase in human population contributes to an increase in the production of pollutants, including phosphates, nitrates and sulphur dioxide.
  • 3.26 – Demonstrate an understanding of how carbon is recycled.

                          (e) Combustion of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Edexcel GCSE Science

Topic 3 – Problems of, and solutions to a changing environment.

  • 3.21 – Explain how the increase in human population contributes to an increase in the production of pollutants, including phosphates, nitrates and sulphur dioxide.
  • 3.26 – Demonstrate an understanding of how carbon is recycled.

 

AQA GCSE Environmental Studies

A3 – Global Climate Change

  • A3.1 Why is the Greenhouse Effect important for life on Earth?
  • A3.2 How may human activities change the climate?
  • A3.3 What are the potential effects of Global Climate Change?
  • A3.4 Can Global Climate Change be stopped?

AQA Geography A

Unit 1 – Physical Geography (Section A).

  • The consequences of global climate change will be significant and change the way we live.
  • There must be an international/national/local, united response to the threat of global climate change.

 

Edexcel GSCE Geography B

Unit 1 Section A (Topic 2 Changing Climate)

  • 2.1 How and why climate has changed in the past?

 

Intended Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain how climate change is affected by human behaviour
  • Give three examples of impacts of climate change on animals
  • Change their behaviour to support positive action against climate change - turning off “standby” appliances                                                             

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

 

For this session

Before the session:

 

While at the zoo:

  • During the session we investigate the impact of climate change on several Zoo animals.  You may wish to visit some of these on your way around the Zoo:

Animal

Link to session

Location in the zoo

Ring tailed Lemurs

Madagascar endemic species

Base Camp – In with the Lemurs

Amur Tigers

Endangered species

Asia

Poison Arrow frogs

Amphibian crisis

Base Camp – Discovery Centre

Reindeer

Climate Change

Europe

After your visit:

  • Ask students to research the different actions people take to stop climate change.  In groups, choose one action, and design a poster or video that encourages others to help.

Pre-Visit Sheet - Climate Change and Animals (KS4)

Check out our pre-visit information pack:

PDF icon Pre-visit sheet - Climate Change and Animals (KS4) (531.21 KB)