The Standards

High School

Earth's Systems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:



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-ESS2-4

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: Examples of the causes of climate change differ by timescale, over 1-10 years: large volcanic eruption, ocean circulation; 10-100s of years: changes in human activity, ocean circulation, solar output; 10-100s of thousands of years: changes to Earth's orbit and the orientation of its axis; and 10-100s of millions of years: long-term changes in atmospheric composition.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment of the results of changes in climate is limited to changes in surface temperatures, precipitation patterns, glacial ice volumes, sea levels, and biosphere distribution.

Science and Engineering Practices

Developing and Using Models

Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed world(s).

Use a model to provide mechanistic accounts of phenomena. (HS-ESS2-4)

Connections to Nature of Science

Science Knowledge Is Based on Empirical Evidence

Science arguments are strengthened by multiple lines of evidence supporting a single explanation. (HS-ESS2-4)

Common Core State Standards Connections

  • SL.11-12.5 - Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest. (HS-ESS2-4)
  • HSN-Q.A.1 - Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays. (HS-ESS2-4)
  • HSN-Q.A.2 - Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling. (HS-ESS2-4)
  • HSN-Q.A.3 - Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities. (HS-ESS2-4)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-ESS2-4)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (HS-ESS2-4)

Model Course Mapping

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