New interactive online tool teaches users about climate change

Kailey Marcinkowski
Northern Research Station, U.S. Forest Service
April 22nd, 2014 at 2:30PM

As we celebrate Earth Day and think about ways to protect our environment, we cannot ignore the dramatic effects that climate change is having on our planet.

To help the U.S. Forest Service respond to a changing climate, the Climate Change Resource Center, an online portal to credible, relevant and timely information focused on forest management responses to climate change, recently released a new education resource on basic climate change science and climate modeling.

The new online interactive tool was designed to make climate change science accessible and easy to understand for Forest Service employees, as well as for land managers and the public. The 20-minute climate change module gives a brief overview of the climate system and the impact of greenhouse gases, and provides climate models, emissions scenarios, and information on current climate change impacts and future climate projections. Interactive features allow users to control their learning experience, with opportunities to explore outside links, and learn definitions and relevant facts.  Information is based on published, peer-reviewed literature and high-quality federal websites.

Climate change science and modeling learning material is followed by an activity that can be tailored to the user’s geographic region. Users earn a certificate for completing the module.

“Everyone plays an important role in sustaining the health of the nation’s forests and grasslands in a changing climate,” said Dave Cleaves, Forest Service Climate Change Advisor. “This online coursework will give Forest Service employees and the general public an exciting and convenient way to deepen their basic understanding of climate change science.”