The Climate Web curates, organizes, and links a vast knowledge base of climate change publications, news stories, graphics, and multimedia materials. The Climate Web organizes these materials with more than 500 topic headings and 750 index terms. It links together people, organizations, discussion points, arguments, and Q&A. Drawing upon the thinking of hundreds of experts and thought-leaders across numerous disciplines, the Climate Web’s knowledge base both facilitates cross-discipline exploration and supports individualized learning and interdisciplinary thinking.
The Climate Web collects in one place what dozens of reports might have to say about a specific issue. It makes it easy for users to find their way to documents and resources of which they are not previously aware, but which might include “actionable knowledge” they can use. Consider this example: Alan Rowson’s 2013 report, A New Agenda on Climate Change, was one of the most insightful pieces of climate analysis that year. But in three years, we have found only four people who had previously heard of the report. Through the Climate Web, users are likely to encounter numerous similar examples of resources that can influence their climate change thinking. This makes the Climate Web a remarkable support tool for teachers and teaching at all levels.
In the text below and the associated Climate Spotlight, we briefly lay out the many ways the Climate Web can support climate change teaching and bring more interdisciplinary and individualized learning into the classroom.
Access Numerous Teaching Resources
The Climate Web organzes a large volume of educational materials and provides links to hundreds of relevant sources. It provides easy access to materials that can be useful in exploring climate topics. Examples include numerous ways in which climate change is being visualized, e.g., more than 50 ways in which sea level rise is being visualized and communicated.
Explore the Recent News
There are literally hundreds of climate change news sources; the Climate Web’s “Recent News” section points users to a selection of news stories from the last couple of months. This section will usually contain several hundred stories at any given time, providing an extensive sense of how climate change is playing in the news.
In addition, the Climate Web pulls together news stories and other materials for key topics in climate change, encouraging in-depth classroom discussion. Two topics profiled in the Climate Web include Was the Paris COP a success or failure? and Will the Pope bring Catholics into the climate fold?
Explore the BIG Questions
These questions are the ones upon which national and global policy, life-and-death business decisions, and the disposition of trillions of investment dollars depend. The Climate Web allows easy exploration of these massively complicated and inter-disciplinary questions. Students can access widely differing points of view and hopefully challenge their own preexisting assumptions
The Climate Web organizes topical resources in ways that make it easy for a user to explore. The Climate Engineering Deep Dive, for example—one of more than 50 Climate Web Deep Dives—integrates about 300 resources. Users can also easily jump to topics including inter-generational decision-making, risk management, decision-making under uncertainty, climate ethics, and other topics relevant to discussions of climate engineering
While the Climate Web organizes a vast amount of information, it does not seek to provide easy answers to complicated questions. Its structure requires thinking and user involvement. This provides exactly the kind of process that contributes to student learning and knowledge retention
Venture Outside Your Silo
The Climate Web can be used to incorporate topics outside your discipline into your teaching. In some cases, topics can be taught directly from the Climate Web. For example, the one-day Scenario Planning course built into the Climate Web can facilitate exploration of both the larger topic of scenario planning and the narrower topic of climate change risk scenarios.
Organize Course Materials
As shown in the Spotlight, course materials can be organized into a course-specific Climate Spotlight, providing a customized information experience for students in that specific course.
These are just some examples of how the Climate Web can be used in teaching settings. The Climate Web’s knowledgebase is now capable of answering almost any climate-related question, or at least organizing the best available thinking on that question. It can help prepare students for the intensely inter-disciplinary nature of the climate change problem. We invite you to explore it for yourself. We have found from experience that the software interface is not immediately intuitive to everyone, but the learning curve is only 10-15 minutes. We also encourage you to watch our comprehensive webinar (available here with full length Q&A and here in a 45-minute shortened form); it’s a big help in communicating the Climate Web’s structure.