Global Warming in North America


James Bramble




In 2012, the United States experienced its warmest year on record. As of 2012, the thirteen warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998, transcending those from 1880.

From 1950 to 2009, the American government's surface temperature record shows an increase by 1 °F (0.56 °C), approximately. Global warming has caused many changes in the U.S. According to a 2009 statement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), trends include lake and river ice melting earlier in the spring, plants blooming earlier, multiple animal species shifting their habitat ranges northward, and reductions in the size of glaciers.

Some research has warned against possible problems due to American climate changes such as the spread of invasive species and possibilities of floods as well as droughts.  Changes in climate in the regions of the United States appear significant. Drought conditions appear to be worsening in the southwest while improving in the northeast for example.

Because of global warming, there has been concern in the United States and internationally, that the country should reduce total greenhouse gas which is relatively high per capita and are the second largest in the world after China, as of 2013.


The above information came from the website,



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            You are an earth science consultant assigned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine if global warming is occurring in North America.  You will use the Public Policy Analyst process to investigate this phenomenon.

            The tasks will include the following:

1.      Each student will write, at least, a 4 page paper on global warming in North America.  The questions that must be answered are, but are not limited to:

a)      Is global warming occurring in North America?

b)      What evidences have you observed to justify if global warming exists in North America?

c)      What are some possible causes for global warming occurring in North America?

d)     What are some possible solutions to reduce or eliminate global warming in North America?

2.      In groups of 2, 3, or 4 people, student groups will create, at least, an 8 slide powerpoint presentation to present your case.




Person, Hands, Writing, Paper, Sheets, Documents

Format for Paper

a)      Introduction (one page).  This will be the background information on the topic, “Is global warming occurring in North America?”

b)      Body of report (at least, 2 pages).  Here, you will present/defend your argument concerning if global warming exists in North America.  You must have, at least, five (5) evidences to support your claim and some possible causes for global warming, if applicable.

c)      Conclusion (one page).  Here, you should summarize your claim presented in the body of the report and give possible solutions to reduce or eliminate global warming in North America, if applicable.


3.      In groups of 2, 3, or 4 people, create an 8 page PowerPoint presentation to present your case to your class.

Below are some websites that can help you obtain evidence on global warming in North America

1.      How Will Climate Change  Affect the United States in Decades to Come?

2.      Greenhouse gases warming North America unevenly - ABC News


The 6 Steps of the Public Policy Analyst (PPA)

1.  Define the Problem

A)     Define the Problem: Worksheet#1


B)     Early Warning Signs of Global Warming: Spring Comes Earlier | Union ...


C)    Consequences of global warming | 3 critical impacts |‎


2.  Gather the Evidence

      A) Gather the Evidence: Worksheet #2

      B) Global Warming Facts -‎

      C) A Link between the Hiatus in Global Warming and North American ...

      D) Climate Change Has Doubled Snowfall Around North America's ...

3.  Identify the Causes

      A) Identify the Causes: Worksheet #3

4.  Evaluate an Existing Policy 

     A) Evaluate an Existing Policy: Worksheet #4

     B)  The 7 Most Alarming Effects of Climate Change on North America ...

 5. Develop Solutions

A)    Develop Solutions: Worksheet #5

6.  Select the Best Solution  (Feasibility vs. Effectiveness)

      A) Select the Best Solution: Worksheet#6  




Rubric for the PowerPoint presentation




Congratulations on investigating and bringing attention to a very impactful topic.  Your classmates and others will greatly benefit from the data you gathered.





1.      Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Explore and inquire into areas of interest to formulate an argument.

         a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

         b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

        c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

       d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

 e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.



2.2d Temperature and precipitation patterns are altered by:

-- natural events such as El Nino and volcanic eruptions

-- human influences including deforestation, urbanization, and the production of green-house gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.