5th IPCC Assesment Report

IPCC 5th Assessment Report and the US Higher Education Response


Climate Change 2013

In an historic moment for the planet and for US higher education, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is releasing its fifth assessment report (AR5) in three parts and will share a synthesis report over the course of the next 12 months (between September 2013 and October 2014).  

National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program is conducting the following short, nine-questions survey to gauge to what extent and how faculty are integrating scientists' findings into education content or pedagogy. A summary of findings will be shared in the spring 2014 issue of NWF's Campus Ecology Connection newswire.

PHOTO CREDIT: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report, 
"Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis" (cover page)

Please take a moment to fill out our National 5th IPCC Assessment Report and Multi-Disciplinary Climate Education Survey

The first of three parts of the AR5 (contributed by the IPCC’s Working Group One in late September 2013) provides an overview of the physical science basis of climate change. The summary for policy makers and full draft are available here: http://www.ipcc.ch/

The findings are relevant for students in all disciplines at both two and four-year colleges and universities and could influence their academic and career content and pathways.

Read Julian Keniry's blog post on the newest IPCC report and what it means for higher education, When Scientists Get Tattoos, Do Instructors Respond for Students? A Survey Inquires


Climate Literacy:  The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences 

An concise overview with compelling illustrations, this brochure for K-12 and higher education faculty details the seven core principles of climate science education relevant to all disciplines and provides a short list of important definitions. NASA notes that the development of the guide began at a workshop sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). NASA also notes that multiple science agencies, non-governmental organizations, and numerous individuals also contributed through extensive review and comment periods. 

The Climate Solution Consensus: What We Know and What to Do About It

by David Blockstein and Leo A.W. Wiegman 
The Climate Solutions Consensus: What We Know and What To Do About It presents the consensus of the more than 1,300 scientists, educators, students, environmentalists, policymakers, business leaders and other citizens who attended NCSE's  8th National Conference on Climate Change: Science and Solutions in January 2008.

Second Nature’s American College and University President’s Climate Commitment 

The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is a high-visibility effort to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions, and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society.  Resources include:
-The ACUPCC Implementation Guide 
The Implementation Guide is the “handbook” of the ACUPCC, providing more detail on the specific obligations in theCommitment, explaining technical issues related to implementation, and outlining key policies.
-ACUPCC Five Year Report 
The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and its almost 700 signatories have demonstrated a profound and positive impact in negating the affects of climate change and integrating sustainable practices on their campuses since the initiative’s inception in 2007, according to Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leaders, the ACUPCC’s five-year report.
-ACUPCC Reporting System
View a complete list of signatories and their reporting.

NWF’s Guide to Climate Action Planning: Pathways to a Low Carbon Campus 

A comprehensive review of the strategies and steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus, with best practices from U.S. colleges and universities. Co-published with the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) and geared to student leaders and staff practitioners, this guide explores how college and university leaders are significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions quickly and cost effectively through effective planning. The authors note that “reducing emissions without a climate action plan is like constructing a building without a blueprint – the outcome is unlikely to meet the original goals in a timely manner.”  The guide provides case studies and tips on conducting greenhouse gas emissions inventories, assessing various options and costs for curbing carbon pollution, developing criteria for selecting, prioritizing and phasing solutions and more.

NWF’s Higher Education in a Warming World: The Business Case for Climate Leadership on Campus 

Highlighting the business, educational, and moral arguments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions on campus, with best practices from U.S. colleges and universities

Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management 

Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management combines the expertise of energy professionals and college administrators from dozens of institutions to establish best practices for designing and managing green revolving funds (GRFs). The resource is a co-publication of the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and was developed with the consulting firm ICF International. The Green Billion Dollar Challenge, launched by The Sustainable Endowments Institute, in collaboration with16 partner organizations, is an initiative to help nonprofit institutions achieve sizable energy savings through the use of green revolving funds. So far, 41 institutions have signed on to the challenge and $75 million has been invested in green revolving loan funds.

National Council on Science and the Environment’s Climate Adaptation Mitigation E-Learning (CAMEL) 

NCSE’s Climate Adaptation Mitigation E-Learning is a free, comprehensive, interdisciplinary, multi-media resource for educators, providing over 300 interdisciplinary topic areas and numerous resource types to give the educator the tools they need to teach CLIMATE CHANGE causes, consequences, solutions and actions. The educator is able to create courses, textbooks, administer exams & surveys, invite others and collaborate around teaching materials, strategies and assessment. 

NASA Innovations in Climate Education 

NASA Innovations in Climate Education, or NICE, is designed to improve the quality of the nation's STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and enhance students' and teachers' literacy about global climate and Earth system change, from elementary grades to lifelong learners. The project is motivated by recommendations made in the National Research Council report "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond." Resources include:

The Greenforce Initiative 

Funded in part by NASA’s Innovation in Climate Education (NICE) program, the Greenforce Initiative Building a Diverse, Green Workforce Project engages faculty in strengthening STEM career education options that are available to adult learners by incorporating curricula and other tools derived from NASA resources into college coursework serving low-income and underrepresented students. 

Eco-Schools USA, Climate Change Curriculum Connections 

Schools play a major role in the education of tomorrow's consumers and decision makers. Helping students understand climate change, its impacts and its solutions prepares them to take an active role in making good choices for both society and the environment.

NACUBO: The Business Case for Renewable Energy: A Guide for Colleges and Universities 

Growing numbers of colleges and universities are making the leap to renewable energy. And some are not only saving money—they’re making money on their renewable energy purchases. This guide, written by two energy consultants, walks you through the process of evaluating the various technologies, ownership options, relationships with utilities, and financing strategies. Citing numerous, in-depth case examples in higher education, this text shares the innovative solutions that have worked for colleges and universities around the country.

Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth

by Larry Schweiger 
In his book Last Chance, Larry J. Schweiger breaks down the science behind global climate change and takes us from Lake Erie to the icebergs of Greenland, and from Congress to America's classrooms and farmlands. He shares with us how the clean energy economy can provide the solutions we need to avert the worst consequences of global warming and he uses scientific facts and common sense to appeal to the minds and hearts of readers. Ultimately, Schweiger reminds us that we have the duty to think and act as the earth's caretakers, not just its inhabitants.

Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse

by David Orr 
Orr adroitly weaves environmental science and policy together with perspectives from history, philosophy, political science, legal studies, and communications to contextualize climate change as a symptom of other problems that, if confronted, can be address. The result is a touchstone from anyone interested in engaging constructively in social change. – Julian Keniry, Confronting Climate Collapse: The Work of a Lifetime 

Fighting for Love in the Century of Extinction: How Passion and Politics Can Stop Global Warming by Eban Goodstein
Eban Goodstein is a faculty member who has organized support and engagement by peers across the U.S. and abroad. Emerging from his work as both an economist and a leader in the clean energy movement, this passionate book sets a new frame for helping Americans understand global warming as the challenge of our generation.

NWF’s Wildlife in a Warming World: Confronting the Climate Crisis 
The climate crisis is already changing the playing field for wildlife and urgent action is needed to preserve America’s conservation legacy, according to a new report released today by the National Wildlife Federation. Wildlife in a Warming World: Confronting the Climate Crisis examines case studies from across the country illustrating how global warming is altering wildlife habitats. It recommends solutions to protect both wildlife and communities across America from the growing climate-fueled threats such as extreme weather, sea level rise and wildfires.


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