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Running Head: Curriculum Development and Design



Paper Title

Curriculum development and design

Paper Details

1500 words The first assignment is a portfolio of local and international events that have the capacity to impact curriculum. You are to chose events and track them over the duration of the unit. These events may be social, political or environmental in nature, they may cross borders or be specific to a national or local setting. one event must be investigated through five individual sources. These sources must catagorise as; Victorian(aust) Australian national online exclusive International and Unfiltered expression eg Web log Note these sources will be the references for the portfolio. Your portfolio of 5 independent pieces(approx 300 words each) should contain a commentary on the evolution of the issue or event, the difference in reporting via the different sources and must state clearly HOW, WHY and WHEN this issue may impact on curriculum both strategically and operationally.



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Curriculum Development and Design

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Rapid temperature increases above the Antarctic

March 31, 2006

A new analysis of weather balloon observations from the last 30 years reveals that the Antarctic has the same 'global warming' signature as that seen across the whole Earth, but is three times larger than that observed globally. The results by scientists from British Antarctic Survey are reported this week in Science.

Although the rapid surface warming in the Antarctic Peninsula region has been known for some time, this study has produced the first indications of broad-scale climate change across the whole Antarctic continent.

Lead author Dr John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey says, "The rapid surface warming of the Antarctic Peninsula and the enhanced global warming signal over the whole continent shows the complexity of climate change. Greenhouses gases could be having a bigger impact in Antarctica than across the rest of the world and we don't understand why. So far we haven't been able to determine the mechanisms behind the warming.

"The warming above the Antarctic could have implications for snowfall across the Antarctic and sea level rise. Current climate model simulations don't reproduce the observed warming, pointing to weaknesses in their ability to represent the Antarctic climate system. Our next step is to try to improve the models.

Greenland's thinning ice sheet could be saved by snow

December 20, 2004

A study conducted by an expert at the University of Sheffield and officials at NASA has found that while Greenland's ice is certainly thinning, snowfall in some areas is increasing, with levels in south-east Greenland in the past year being three times higher than is usual. This opens debate as to how global warming will affect Greenland's ice sheet and could mean that it remains stable, as thinning ice is offset by increased snowfall, which will replace the melted ice.

Edward Hanna, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Geography explains, "Our study involved using airborne laser surveys to measure the height of the ice in Greenland. We found that ice is thinning at an extremely rapid rate along the margins, meaning that Greenland's contribution to global sea level rise has almost doubled since the mid 90s.

"In contrast to this, ice in South East Greenland has actually thickened by a metre between 2002 and 2003, reversing the thinning of between 10cm and 40cm a year which had been occurring there in the mid 90s. This sudden thickening was due to unusually high levels of snowfall between 2002 and 2003. Usually this area would experience about a metre of snow per year, but in this period 3m of snow fell, which is the highest rate in more than 45 years of meteorological data.

"These findings add to the current debate over how global warming will affect ice in Greenland. Warm air holds more water than cold air, so global warming means we may have a wetter climate. Storm tracks could move further north, with more snow falling on Greenland. This snowfall could offset the melting that is taking place on other parts of the ice sheet."

Crops feel the heat as the world warms

March 16, 2007

Stanford, Calif. — Over a span of two decades, warming temperatures have caused annual losses of roughly $5 billion for major food crops, according to a new study by researchers at the Carnegie Institution and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

From 1981-2002, warming reduced the combined production of wheat, corn, and barley—cereal grains that form the foundation of much of the world's diet—by 40 million metric tons per year. The study, which will be published March 16 in the online journal Environmental Research Letters, demonstrates that this decline is due to human-caused increases in global temperatures.

"Most people tend to think of climate change as something that will impact the future," said Christopher Field, co-author on the study and director of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology in Stanford, Calif. "But this study shows that warming over the past two decades has already had real effects on global food supply."

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The study is the first to estimate how much global food production has already been affected by climate change. Field and David Lobell, lead author of the study and a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, compared yield figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization with average temperatures and precipitation in the major growing regions.

They found that, on average, global yields for several of the crops responded negatively to warmer temperatures, with yields dropping by about 3-5 percent for every 1 degree F increase. Average global temperatures increased by about 0.7 degrees F during the study period, with even larger changes in several regions.

"Though the impacts are relatively small compared to the technological yield gains over the same period, the results demonstrate that negative impacts are already occurring," said Lobell.

The researchers focused on the six most widely grown crops in the world: wheat, rice, maize (corn), soybeans, barley and sorghum—a genus of about 30 species of grass raised for grain. These crops occupy more than 40 percent of the world's cropland, and account for at least 55 percent of non-meat calories consumed by humans. They also contribute more than 70 percent of the world's animal feed.

The main value of this study, the authors said, was that it demonstrates a clear and simple correlation between temperature increases and crop yields at the global scale. However, Field and Lobell also used this information to further investigate the relationship between observed warming trends and agriculture.

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"We assumed that farmers have not yet adapted to climate change—for example, by selecting new crop varieties to deal with climate change. If they have been adapting—something that is very difficult to measure—then the effects of warming may have been lower," explained Lobell.

Most experts believe that adaptation would lag several years behind climate trends, because it can be difficult to distinguish climate trends from natural variability. "A key moving forward is how well cropping systems can adapt to a warmer world. Investments in this area could potentially save billions of dollars and millions of lives," Lobell added.

Global changes alter plant growth schedule

September 05, 2006

Stanford, CA-Any gardener knows that different plant species mature at different times. Scientists studying natural plant communities know this phenomenon allows species to co-exist by reducing overlap so there is less competition for limited resources. Scientists working in a natural grassland ecosystem in California have now found evidence that climate change may alter this delicate balance.

"Under today's conditions, grasses flower early in the growing season and wildflowers flower later, but when we increased the concentration of carbon dioxide to mirror conditions 50 years from now, these two groups flowered at the same time," said Elsa Cleland, lead author with the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment at Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology.

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In recent decades, scientists have observed accelerated springtime phenology-the timing of developmental activity in many plant and animal species-and assumed it is a response to global warming. The Jasper Ridge researchers wanted to know if phenology responded similarly to other important aspects of global change, such as increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, altered rainfall patterns, and increased nitrogen deposition.

While the researchers found that experimental warming accelerated springtime flowering of all species, they were surprised to find differing responses to elevated CO2 and nitrogen deposition, both alone and in combination. For each of these factors, wildflowers responded by flowering earlier, while the grasses flowered later. Because grasses dominate this ecosystem, the scientists found that the overall timing of plant growth was delayed under elevated CO2.

"This research shows that global warming is just part of the picture," said Christopher Field, director of the project. "It highlights the fact that opposing responses of different species to global changes may cause us to underestimate the degree to which natural communities are already responding to changing environmental conditions."


Monster hurricanes

May 10, 2006

Study questions linkage between severe hurricanes and global warming New research calls into question the linkage between major Atlantic hurricanes and global warming. That is one of the conclusions from a University of Virginia study to appear in the May 10, 2006 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

In recent years, a large number of severe Atlantic hurricanes have fueled a debate as to whether global warming is responsible. Because high sea-surface temperatures fuel tropical cyclones, this linkage seems logical. In fact, within the past year, several hurricane researchers have correlated basin-wide warming trends with increasing hurricane severity and have implicated a greenhouse-warming cause.

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But unlike these prior studies, the U.Va. climatologists specifically examined water temperatures along the path of each storm, providing a more precise picture of the tropical environment involved in each hurricane's development. They found that increasing water temperatures can account for only about half of the increase in strong hurricanes over the past 25 years; therefore the remaining storminess increase must be related to other factors.

"It is too simplistic to only implicate sea surface temperatures in the dramatic increase in the number of major hurricanes," said lead author Patrick Michaels, U.Va. professor of environmental sciences and director of the Virginia Climatology Office.

For a storm to reach the status of a major hurricane, a very specific set of atmospheric conditions must be met within the region of the storm's development, and only one of these factors is sufficiently high sea-surface temperatures. The authors found that the ultimate strength of a hurricane is not directly linked to the underlying water temperatures. Instead, they found that a temperature threshold, 89?F, must be crossed before a weak tropical cyclone has the potential to become a monster hurricane. Once the threshold is crossed, water temperature is no longer an important factor. "At that point, other factors take over, such as the vertical wind profile, and atmospheric temperature and moisture gradients," Michaels said.

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While there has been extensive recent discussion about whether or not human-induced global warming is currently playing a role in the increased frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes, Michaels downplays this impact, at least for the current climate.

"The projected impacts of global warming on Atlantic hurricanes are minor compared with the major changes that we have observed over the past couple of years," Michaels said.

He points instead to naturally varying components of the tropical environment as being the primary reason for the recent enhanced activity.

"Some aspects of the tropical environment have evolved much differently than they were expected to under the assumption that only increasing greenhouse gases were involved. This leads me to believe that natural oscillations have also been responsible for what we have seen," Michaels said.

But what if sea-surface temperatures continue to rise into the future, if the world continues to warm from an enhancing greenhouse effect?

"In the future we may expect to see more major hurricanes," Michaels said, "but we don't expect the ones that do form to be any stronger than the ones that we have seen in the past."


Do you know what your children are learning in school about climate change? Have you ever looked at their textbooks? Is it education or indoctrination? How accurate are the facts? How much is it an ideological or a political message? Is it a balanced curriculum offering options or one imposing a singular view? How much is fear the vehicle of indoctrination?

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Do you only learn about the material when your elementary school child can't sleep because of threats of a rising sea level? Are you like the mother who told me how children at a birthday party for her seven-year-old cried when a balloon burst because they said there would be another hole in the ozone? I hear from many people about children traumatized by what they have learned in school. A British survey of children between 7 and 11 found half of them are anxious about the impacts of global warming to the point of losing sleep. At what age do we place societal or world problems on young shoulders? US TV celebrity psychologist "Dr. Phil" says emphatically, don't put adult problems on children's shoulders.

No doubt, environmental advocates like Al Gore and Canadian counterpart David Suzuki believe pushing their message to young people is necessary to produce the type of people they want for their world, but at what age is it acceptable? Aristotle distinguished between knowledge that was essentially innate and knowledge that required life experience to assimilate. Information about the latter is purely propaganda when introduced to the young. It is indoctrination.

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The opening paragraph challenged parents about their knowledge of what children are learning in school. Their concern is personal and direct, but the knowledge and implications are important for all of society. If we are going to make the right decisions about local, national and global environmental and resource issues, it is imperative we have accurate facts and a rudimentary understanding of the way the earth works. That is not true now and will be worse if uninformed ideologues continue to have unfettered access without balance. Extending the politics of fear to young children is truly reprehensible no matter the cause.


Adler, Jerry (2007). "Moment of Truth." Newsweek (April 16),  pp. 45-48

Boykoff, Maxwell T., and Jules M. Boykoff (2007). "Climate    Change and Journalistic Norms: A Case-Study of Us Mass Media Coverage." Geoforum: IN PRESS

Camp, Charles D., and Ka Kit Tung (2007). "Surface Warming by the Solar Cycle as Revealed by the Composite Mean    Difference Projection." Geophysical Research Letters 34:  L14703

Carey, John (2007). "Climate Wars: Episode Two." Business Week no. 4031 (April 23), pp. 90-92.

CNA corporation, Military Advisory Board (Gen. Gordon R.  Sullivan, chair) (2007). National Security and the Threat   of Climate Change, Alexandria, VA,CNA corporation, pp.     35

Denman, K.L., et al. (2007). "Couplings between Changes In the Climate System and Biogeochemistry." In Climate Change  2007: The Physical Basis of Climate Change. Contribution   of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the     IPCC, edited by Solomon, Susan, et al., pp. 500-587.  Cambridge and New York:Cambridge University Press.

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Fleming, James R. (2007). The Callendar Effect. The Life and  Work of Guy Stewart Callendar (1898-1964), the Scientist    Who Established the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate    Change. Boston, MA: American Meteorological Society

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IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) (2007a). "Summary for Policymakers." In Climate Change 2007: The Physical Basis of Climate Change. Contribution of Working   Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC,  edited by Solomon, Susan, et al., pp. 1-18. Cambridge and     New York:Cambridge University Press

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) (2007b). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment  Report of the IPCC. [Summary for Policymakers. See also     Solomon (2007)].Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) (2007c). Climate Change 2007: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation   and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to  the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC

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