Translation and adaptation of a learning and evaluation situation created by Jonathan Chartrand from CSChic-Chocs. Presentation of the situation :

At the recent American presidential campaign, candidates expressed their views on the issue of climate change. Some of the speeches were in opposition to what is currently being taught in high school. Indeed, we teach students that climate change is not due to issues such as ozone depletion or degrading air quality, but to Global Warming. According to teachers, this is the Challenge of Our Time because it directly affects the continuity of human civilizations on Earth.

The new American President is against measures limiting climate changes. He doesn't not consider it a national security issue. In fact, many people believe that climate change is a natural phenomenon independent from any human intervention. Nonetheless, it is a controversial position for a politician.

According to physics books, atmospheric CO2 concentrations (carbon dioxide) determines global temperature fluctuations on Earth, as it's a greenhouse gas. The greenhouse effect is a well-known phenomenon. Maintaining balance is essential to life. For example, in the summer, a car parked in the sun will quickly heat up to the point of suffocation if you don't open a window. However, according to the scientific community, atmospheric CO2 concentrations may have increased quickly and significantly on Earth due to massive use of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) in humankind's industrial practices.

This is the question you must answer: « Is it possible to determine if the President is correct in his perspective of the issue? ». Bear in mind that the scientific community supports the theory that an increase of 2° Celsius in the Earth's temperature would have alarming and irreversible consequences on the biosphere. Analyze the data provided in the following pages to have a clear understanding of the issue which, if it's real despite how American politics are portraying it through the media, may compromise your children and grand-children's future.


The problem situation brings the adult learner to reflect on a contemporary issue in our society as well as on politics. Knowledge acquired in the course Data Collection in Fundamental Context is reinvested and can be used to support the environmental thesis that Global Warming (1) is caused by anthropogenic activities; and (2) worsens over time.

The problem situation is complex and meaningful to mobilize the knowledge of the adult and to motivate the tasks entrusted to him. Concepts related to the physical sciences and the human sciences, disciplines taught previously or in concomitance, are solicited by the situation-problem (mathematics applied to natural phenomena and to civic life). A good level of reading comprehension is required to grasp the intention leading to a collection of scientific data and its analysis.


This is a learning and evaluation assessment. It should be done at the end of the course, as part of a comprehensive and rigorous preparation based on the End-of-Course Outcomes.


Entre 3 h et 9 h / Travail individuel / Travail d'équipe


S'informer / Soutenir la métacognition / Créer/produire