Reading: Climate Change: The Chemistry Connection

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A‌ ‌reading titled, ‘Finding Chemistry Connections in Climate Change’ by Jason Olsen for the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT), provides an introduction to climate change, its impacts and their connection to chemistry.  This reading includes discussions on topics in Chemistry that teachers can teach which have a connection with climate change understanding. These include 

  1. Chemical Reactions including conservation of mass, combustion reactions, balancing equations, stoichiometry/moles, exothermic reactions linked to Burning Fossil Fuels and CO2 Production as Climate Change Topics
  2. Gas Laws including pressure, temperature; Density including convection; Enthalpy; Kinetic Molecular Theory including states of matter, phase changes, latent heat linked to Extreme Weather Events as Climate Change Topics.
  3. Kinetic Molecular Theory including states of matter, phase changes; Conservation of mass linked to Declining Arctic Sea Ice, Decreased Snow Cover, Glacial Retreat and Sea Level Rise as Climate Change Topics.
  4. Solutions including dissolved gases; Acids and bases linked to Ocean Acidification as Climate Change Topic.
  5. Kinetic Molecular Theory including molecular motion, temperature; Enthalpy linked to Global Temperature/ Ocean Temperature as Climate Change Topics.
  6. Covalent bonds including molecular vibrations linked to Greenhouse Effect as Climate Change Topic.

Students‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ introduced to the main causes and effects of climate change. They will further understand the connections between chemistry and climate change, including burning fossil fuels and chemical reactions, extreme weather events and gas laws, and changing sea levels and Kinetic Molecular Theory. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:  ‌

  1. What is the role of chemistry in understanding climate change?
  2. How have anthropogenic emissions impacted Earth’s climate change?

 ‌About‌ ‌the‌ ‌tool‌ ‌

Tool‌ ‌Name‌ ‌Finding Chemistry Connections in Climate Change
Discipline‌ ‌Chemistry,‌ ‌Earth‌ ‌Sciences‌ ‌
Topic(s)‌ ‌in‌ ‌Discipline‌ ‌Climate Change Overview, Environmental Chemistry
Climate‌ ‌Topic‌ ‌ ‌Introduction to Climate Change; Climate Literacy
Type‌ ‌of‌ ‌tool‌ ‌ ‌Reading
Grade‌ ‌Level‌ ‌High School, Undergraduate
Location‌ ‌Global‌ ‌
Language‌ ‌English‌ ‌ ‌
Translation‌ ‌
Developed‌ ‌by‌ ‌Jason Olson
Hosted‌ ‌at‌ ‌American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT)
Link‌ ‌Link
Access‌ ‌Online‌ ‌
Computer‌ ‌Skills‌ ‌Basic‌ ‌
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