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Life and Climate


Table of Contents

  1. Discovering the Atmosphere
  2. Where Did Earth's Atmosphere Come From?
  3. How Do Scientists Play the Dating Game?
  4. The Beginning of Life on Earth
  5. The Origin of Our Oxygen-Rich Atmosphere
  6. How and When Did Complex Life Begin?
  7. Earth's Shifting Crust
  8. Highs and Lows Over the Past 750 Million Years
  9. What Happened to the Dinosaurs?
  10. The Ice Ages
  11. Climate and Human Evolution
  12. Climate and Culture
  13. What Does Earth's Past Tell Us About Our Future?

Index of Investigations

LIFE AND CLIMATE is about how our atmosphere and climate came to be as they are today; how life on Earth evolved; and how the evolution of life and climate have affected each other since the Earth was formed. In this Guide your students will find the story of how tiny plants brought oxygen to the Earth's atmosphere; and how changing climates may have brought about the evolution of our human ancestors in Africa five million years ago. They will construct timelines, and find out how we know where to place milestones in the development of life. They will learn about the gradual acceptance of tectonic plate theory, and how the movement of tectonic plates is now thought to cause the climate changes that affected the evolution of life. In the laboratory, your students will experiment with dissolving rocks to explore the long term carbon cycle which has contributed to the long term stability of the Earth's climate. In the final chapter, they will consider what the Earth's past can tell us about its future.

Life and Climate is part of the GSS high school curriculum education theme:
Fundamental Earth Systems

Investigations in this book: