HS-ESS2-2: Feedback in Earth's Systems

Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other earth systems. (Stability and Change)

Clarification Statement: Examples should include climate feedbacks, such as how an increase in greenhouse gases causes a rise in global temperatures that melts glacial ice, which reduces the amount of sunlight reflected from Earth's surface, increasing surface temperatures and further reducing the amount of ice. Examples could also be taken from other system interactions, such as how the loss of ground vegetation causes an increase in water runoff and soil erosion; how dammed rivers increase groundwater recharge, decrease sediment transport, and increase coastal erosion; or how the loss of wetlands causes a decrease in local humidity that further reduces the wetland extent.

Assessment Boundary: none


The following assessments were created by science teachers hoping to better understand the NGSS. In most cases teachers went from standard to assessment in around an hour.  These are drafts and should be used accordingly. Feel free to improve these assessments or contribute to the collection. Learn more about assessment design here.



Anchor Charts



Earth’s surface
Earth’s systems (e.g. hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, or geosphere)
Feedback* (negative or positive)
 * should include climate feedback

Learning Plans

*Next Generation Science Standards is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.  Visit the official NGSS website.