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Black Carbon and its Impact on Earth’s Climate


As a High School or Undergraduate Chemistry or Environmental Sciences teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to teach about allotropy, various allotropes of carbon and their structural and physical properties, black carbon, sources of black carbon and its impact on Earth’s climate.

This lesson plan will help students understand the concept of allotropy and various allotropes of carbons. Students will learn about black carbon, the effect of black carbon on the Earth’s albedo and therefore, its impact on the climate. This lesson plan will also help students to understand how the immediate effect of controlling black carbon emission can potentially slow down the rate of global warming.

Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Chemistry or Environmental Sciences.

Learning Outcome

The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:

  1. Define allotropy and describe some allotropes of carbon and their structural properties
  2. Explain what black carbon is and elaborate on its sources
  3. Describe how black carbon affects clouds and cloud formation
  4. Explain the mechanisms of the cooling or heating of the Earth’s atmosphere due to black carbon
  5. Describe how glaciers are melting faster because of black carbon
  6. Understand the importance of controlling black carbon emissions to reduce global warming

A teacher-contributed lesson plan by Dr. Shefali Shukla, Sri Venkateswara College (University of Delhi), India.

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