Lesson Plans

News Bite 2: Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau

Image by Sean Gallagher. China, 2012.

"Rising temperatures on the Tibetan Plateau in western China are causing melting glaciers and environmental degradation, threatening the vulnerable communities that inhabit the roof of the world," reads the description on the Pulitzer Center website for Sean Gallagher's visual journalism project "Meltdown: Climate Change and Environmental Degradation on the Tibetan Plateau." 

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP21, will take place from November 30 to December 11 in Paris, France. Representatives from over 190 countries will gather to discuss how to lower greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and "achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C," according to the conference website

Using this lesson

  • Watch the video "Photographing Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau" by Sean Gallagher. 
  • Discuss the questions provided in this lesson.
  • Have students research COP21. If they were to attend the conference as representives of the United States, what would they say? What would be their priorities? 



Educator Notes: 

This lesson provides an in-depth look at Tibet, the "roof of the world" and one of the first regions to be affected by global climate change, to go along with classroom discussions of COP21, the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. 

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