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Classroom Resources: Climate and Atmosphere

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade

3rd - 5th Grade

Middle School

High School/College

Next Generation Science Standards

Grade Level


NOAA Boulder Science


K-ESS3-3 – Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

NOAA Boulder scientists study some of the ways humans impact the land, such as air pollution and increased greenhouse gases.


2-ESS1-1 Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.


2-ESS2-1 Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.


2-ESS2-3 Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.

NOAA Boulder researchers study what causes heating and cooling in the air and ocean.


NOAA Boulder scientists research quickly forming weather systems and slower climate changes.


NOAA Boulder scientists research how dams impact flooding events.


NOAA Boulder researchers monitor changes over time in greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone.


NOAA Boulder researchers measure changes in the air due to pollution and wildfires.


NOAA Boulder researchers investigate water frozen in the Arctic, water in the atmosphere, and water causing floods.


3-ESS2-1 – Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.


3-ESS2-2 – Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

NOAA creates 30 year “climate normals” for the United States.


The National Weather Service works with local communities to be prepared for severe weather that may occur.


4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

NOAA Boulder researchers analyze carbon isotopes in carbon dioxide to determine the origin of the carbon and better understand the carbon cycle.


5-PS1-1 Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.


5-PS1-4 Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.


5-ESS2-1 – Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

NOAA Boulder scientists analyze data of greenhouse gases, ozone, and pollutants in the atmosphere.


NOAA Boulder scientists research molecules that change with chemical reactions, such as stratospheric ozone, ground level ozone and smog.


NOAA Boulder researchers create weather and climate models, and work to improve their understanding in the interaction between all earth systems.

Middle School

MS-PS1-2 Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.


MS-PS1-4 Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.


MS-ESS2-5 – MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.


MS-ESS2-6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.


MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.


MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.


MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.

NOAA Boulder scientists research molecules that change with chemical reactions, such as stratospheric ozone, ground level ozone and smog.


NOAA Boulder researchers create weather and climate models. Models account for energy that moves through the atmosphere and earth systems.


NOAA Boulder scientists use the information from their research to inform US and international climate reports.


NOAA Boulder scientists study the physics of the atmosphere and interaction between solar radiation, atmosphere, and ocean circulations to create weather and climate models.


NOAA Boulder forecasters and researchers communicate with emergency managers and community partners about future weather hazards, impacts of floods, droughts, ice melt, and other climate changes.


NOAA Boulder scientists measure greenhouse gases from air samples collected around the world.


NOAA Boulder researchers have monitored global greenhouse gases since 1972.

High School

HS-ESS2-4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.


HS-ESS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.


HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.


HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity. 


HS-PS3-4 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).


HS-LS2-5 Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.

NOAA Boulder scientists study solar radiation input into earth systems and transfer of heat energy in between earth systems.


NOAA NOAA Boulder scientists research droughts and floods, and the impact to surrounding environments.


NOAA Boulder researchers study carbon in different stages of the carbon cycle.


NOAA Boulder researchers translate the physics of the atmosphere into computer models to better predict future weather and climate.


NOAA Boulder scientists study changes in the movement and state of matter of water over time, as well as changes in the composition of the atmosphere over time.