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At the interface between atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, this theme chapter covers content that is societally crucial but publicly controversial and fraught by misconceptions and misinformation. Climate science is an interdisciplinary field that straddles the natural and social sciences; understanding its processes requires system-thinking, understanding mathematical models, and appreciation of its human and societal components. Recent data show that extreme weather and climate events have become more frequent in the past decades. These include extreme temperatures, floods, like the ones associated with the series of very powerful hurricanes that made an unprecedented number of landfalls in August and September 2017 and unusual drought conditions and forest fires across the Western US in the summer of 2017. Studies like these emphasize the complexity of climate science and highlight the importance of climate change adaptation. However, there is a significant disparity in the distribution of vulnerability and readiness to impacts of climate change around the world. In this theme chapter, authors have identified five grand challenges to the conceptual understanding of environmental, oceanic, atmospheric and climate science, and proposed strategies for the geoscience education research community.
Cervato, Cinzia; Charlevoix, Donna; Gold, Anne; and Kandel, Hari (2018). "Research on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Environmental, Oceanic, Atmospheric, and Climate Science Content". In St. John, K (Ed.) (2018). Community Framework for Geoscience Education Research. National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.25885/ger_framework/3