Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Quiz on Carbon Cycle

An interactive online quiz to test student’s understanding of the carbon cycle. This quiz by NASA can help students understand the various components of the carbon cycle and their influence on Earth’s climate. 

Students will learn about the processes involved in regulating carbon and the role of atmospheric carbon in the carbon cycle. They will further understand how changes in these components can contribute to climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What are the various components of the Carbon Cycle? 
  2. Discuss how the cycling of carbon through the atmosphere is affected by anthropogenic activities. 
  3. Discuss the difference between carbon sinks and carbon sources using examples.

About the tool

Tool NameCarbon and the climate
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences: Chemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byNASA
Hosted athttps://climate.nasa.gov/
Linkhttps://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/96/quiz-carbon-and-the-climate/
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Black Carbon and Human Health

A classroom activity that discusses the impacts of black carbon emissions on human health. This activity by the Science Education Research Center at Carleton College (SERC Carleton) demonstrates how the burning of fossil fuels and biomass-based fuels results in black carbon emissions, contributes to global warming, and impacts human health in different parts of the world.

Students will be introduced to ‘black carbon’ and understand how it is generated from various household sources in developing countries. They will also be challenged to critically evaluate various health and environmental impacts of household fuels, and to come up with suitable solutions in response to this. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss the effect of black carbon on human health?

About the tool

Tool NameEnergy and the Poor- Black Carbon in the Developing Nations
DisciplineChemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Chemistry, Allotropy, Allotropes of carbon, Black Carbon, Greenhouse Gas, Human Health
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere; Greenhouse Effect; Climate and Health
Type of tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byScience Education Research Center at Carleton College
Hosted atScience Education Research Center at Carleton College Website
Linkhttps://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/energy/activities/32421.html
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Black Carbon and Earth’s Albedo

A laboratory activity to demonstrate the effect of black carbon on surface temperature of the Earth. This activity by Holzer et al. for the NESTA/Windows to the Universe team demonstrates the impact of black carbon on solar radiation absorption, particularly in the poles. 

Students will be introduced to the albedo effect of black carbon. From the experiment, they will also learn how to collect and translate their findings using a simple model. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the albedo effect of black carbon and how does it affect the surface temperature of Earth?
  2. Discuss how cutting down of black carbon emissions can reduce global surface temperatures.

About the tool

Tool NameChanging Planet: Black Carbon- A Dusty Situation
DisciplineChemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Chemistry, Allotropy, Allotropes of carbon, Black Carbon, Greenhouse Gas
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere, Greenhouse Effect
Type of tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Grade LevelHigh School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byMissy Holzer, Jennifer Bergman, and Roberta Johnson
Hosted atNESTA/Windows to the Universe team Website
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: The Global Climate Change Game

An interactive classroom activity ‘The Global Climate Change Game’ by James Copestake and Tom Ellum, University of Bath, that applies theoretical economic concepts in the context of climate change. The game involves role-play by students to understand.international climate change negotiations between countries influenced by ethics and morals. The game introduces concepts like ‘green spending’ and ‘carbon tax’ and requires students to maximize their countries’ net benefit to avoid catastrophes. 

Students will learn about economic concepts that relate to climate change as well as understand how these concepts function in a global market. They will also learn about the economic decisions and incentives that countries take to reduce the effect of climate change on economic growth and development. Students will further learn about how public good and benefit influences these economic decisions. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is ‘green spending’?
  2. How does public good and benefit influence climate change negotiations?
  3. Compare countries and their greenhouse gas emissions and net economic growth.

About the tool

Tool NameThe Global Climate Change Game
DisciplineEconomics
Topic(s) in DisciplineGreen Spending, Carbon Tax, Climate Change Negotiations, Economic Growth
Climate Topic Energy, Economics and Climate Change
Type of tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity 
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byJames Copestake and Tom Ellum
Hosted atThe Economics Network 
Linkhttps://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/showcase/copestake_climate#Relating_the_game_to_theoretical_issues
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Classroom/ Laboratory Activity: Carbon Pricing Dashboard of the World Bank

An interactive visualization tool with map, data and downloadable graphs to understand the carbon pricing initiatives of various nations over a thirty-year period from 1991 to 2021. The tool ‘Carbon Pricing Dashboard- Map & Data’ of the World Bank includes greenhouse gas emissions, carbon prices implemented across different countries and the value of the carbon pricing initiatives  (ETS or Carbon Tax).

Students will be able to  explore data from different regions or countries, download the data/graphs on their carbon pricing data and draw comparisons to improve understanding of the real-world scenario of carbon pricing across various geographies. They will also be able to determine which carbon pricing initiative is most suitable for that region. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss the share of the global greenhouse gas emissions by regions from 1991 to 2021 
  2. Carbon pricing is used as an instrument for making climate change policies. Discuss. 

About the tool

Tool NameCarbon Pricing Dashboard 
DisciplineEconomics
Topic(s) in DisciplineEnvironmental Economics, Carbon Pricing, Emissions Trading Systems (ETS) Cost-Benefit Analysis, Greenhouse Gas Emissions 
Climate Topic Energy, Economics and Climate Change 
Type of tool Classroom/ Laboratory Activity  
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byThe World Bank
Hosted atThe World Bank
Linkhttps://carbonpricingdashboard.worldbank.org/map_data
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Classroom/ Laboratory activity: Climate Mitigation and Willingness to Pay

A classroom/laboratory activity based on data on citizens’ willingness to pay to reduce carbon emissions as a method of mitigating climate change. This data is collected through an online survey by the German government and is available for download in Excel, R, and Google Sheet formats.

Students will be able to analyse the data to construct indices for measuring attitudes or opinions. They will also learn to use Cronbach’s alpha and Likert scale. Additionally, they will use mean, standard deviation, correlation/correlation coefficient, and confidence interval to analyze the results. Through this activity, they will be able to compare the measures of willingness to pay with climate policymaking. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is ‘willingness to pay’?
  2. How to measure willingness to pay for non-market goods like abatement to pollution?
  3. What is Cronbach’s alpha? How is it used to assess indices for internal consistency?

About the tool

Tool NameMeasuring Willingness to Pay for Climate Change Mitigation
DisciplineEconomics
Topic(s) in DisciplineWillingness to Pay (WTP), Likert Scale, Cronbach’s Alpha, Value of Abatement, Contingent Valuation
Climate Topic Climate Mitigation and Adaptation; Energy, Economics and Climate Change; Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance
Type of tool Classroom/ Laboratory Activity  
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal, Germany
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byCORE Project
Hosted atCORE Project Website
Linkhttps://www.core-econ.org/doing-economics/book/text/11-01.html
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsIntermediate

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Metabolic Rates and Global Warming

A guidebook of gender-sensitive approaches to climate change policy for city planning. It discusses the different ways in which women and men are affected by climate change. This guidebook includes discussions on gender inequalities such as gender division of labour, gender differentials in income, gender biases in decision making, and other factors contributing to climate vulnerability.

Students will understand how climate change impacts genders differently. They will also learn the importance of gender sensitivity in formulating climate change policies. Students will be introduced to gender sensitive climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience in cities.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate change affect genders differently?
  2. Give a few reasons why climate change policies should use a gender-sensitive approach
  3. What are the priorities for gender-sensitive climate policies at urban levels?

About the Tool 

Tool Name Gender and Urban Climate Policy: Gender-Sensitive Policies Make a Difference
Discipline Humanities, Social Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Gender, Gender and Climate Change, Gender Inequality, Urban Planning, Public Policy, Climate Change Policy, Climate Vulnerability
Climate Topic Climate and Society, Policies, Politics, and Environmental Governance
Type of Tool Reading
Grade Level Undergraduate, Graduate
Location  Global
Language English
Translation
Developed by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development 
Hosted at Giz, UN Habitat, Gender CC 
Link Reading Link
Access Online, Offline
Computer Skills Basic

 

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Linear Regression using Global Temperatures

A classroom/lab activity for Statistics teachers to teach about Linear Regression. This activity is based on a dataset on average global temperature anomalies from 1850 to 2019. 

Students will learn about introductory linear regression techniques and will learn to make scatter plots of the data provided. This tool will allow the student to understand changes in the average global temperatures since the industrial revolution. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is linear regression?
  2. Plot the average global temperature anomalies on a scatter plot.
  3. What are confidence intervals? What are the confidence interval slopes for global temperature at 25, 50, 100 and 150 years before 2019?
  4. How have human activities impacted average global temperatures since the Industrial revolution?

About the Tool

Tool Name Global Temperature Anomalies
Discipline Mathematics and Statistics
Topic(s) in Discipline Linear regression, Scatter Plot, Confidence Intervals
Climate Topic Climate Variability Record
Type of Tool Activity
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation
Developed by IPCC, Thomas J. Pfaff (Ithaca College)
Hosted at Sustainability Math
Link Link
Access Offline
Computer Skills Basic

Differential Calculus using Methane Data

A classroom/laboratory activity for Mathematics teachers to teach about Differential Calculus, specifically, about polynomial differentiation focusing on  Tangent Line Problem and Curve Fitting. This activity contains yearly data of the globally averaged marine surface methane from 1984 to 2019. Methane is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions – a potential cause of global warming.

Students will learn the use of scatter plot and curve fitting to derive the polynomial differentiation function. Further this activity will allow students to predict future methane concentrations.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What are polynomial differentiation functions?
  2. Derive a polynomial function using the given methane concentration date.
  3. Calculate future methane concentration using polynomial differentiation.

About the Tool

Tool Name Global Marine Surface CH4
Discipline Mathematics and Statistics
Topic(s) in Discipline Differential Calculus, Polynomial Differentiation, Tangent Line Problem, Scatter Plot, Curve Fitting
Climate Topic Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Type of Tool Video (64 mins)
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location  Global
Language English
Translation
Developed by Thomas J. Pfaff (Ithaca College)
Hosted at Sustainability Math
Link Link
Access Offline
Computer Skills Basic

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Photosynthesis Under Variable Environmental Conditions

A simple simulator that allows users to change a range of variables such as the color of light, brightness of light, and carbon dioxide concentration, and then note their impact on the photosynthetic efficiency of a plant.

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Permafrost and Climate Change

A set of hands-on classroom and computer-based activities for students to learn about permafrost and to explore various web-based scientific data portals to investigate permafrost distribution, characteristics of permafrost, and the effects of thawing permafrost on the atmosphere and the environment.

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Carbon Dioxide and Photosynthetic Rates

A classroom/laboratory activity that shows how to measure the rate of photosynthesis and its changes under different conditions including high concentrations of carbon dioxide, a potential contributor to climate change.

Classroom/Laboratory Activity, Teaching Module: Cost-Benefit Analysis for Carbon Emissions Abatement

A classroom/laboratory activity or teaching module to perform cost-benefit analysis for carbon emissions abatement, considered to be an action that will mitigate climate change.

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Reconstruction of Paleoclimate by Using Isotopic Composition Data

A classroom/laboratory activity to learn about the isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen, analyze the isotopic composition of ice, and understand how isotopic compositions can be used to recreate past temperatures and climate.

Students will plot graphs to analyze data from the Vostok ice core in Antarctica, learn about the ice age and the gas age, calculate past temperatures using hydrogen isotope data, and discuss the possible impacts of changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations on climate.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How can you use hydrogen isotope data in an ice core to determine temperature?
  2. How can the isotopic composition of air bubbles in ice cores be used to recreate past climate?

About the Tool

Tool Name Lab: Vostok Ice Core
Discipline Chemistry, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Isotopes, Isotopic Ratios, Isotopic Composition in paloeclimate reconstructions
Climate Topic Climate and the Cryosphere, Climate Variability Record
Type of Tool Laboratory Activity
Grade Level Undergraduate
Location Antarctica
Vostok Station
Language English
Translation
Developed by  Stephanie Pfirman, Barnard College
Hosted at Columbia University: The Climate System course taught by Peter Schlosser, Stephanie Pfirman, Mingfang Ting, Jason Smerdon
Link http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/climate/labs/vostok/
Access Online, Offline
Computer Skills Intermediate

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Ocean Chemistry, Ocean Acidification, and Oyster Growth

A classroom/laboratory activity to learn about the pH of ocean water, explore the potential effects of climate change on ocean acidification, and understand the possible impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms such as oysters.

Students will explore and analyze the relationship between the growth of oyster larvae and the chemistry of ocean water (aragonite saturation state) by plotting graphs for actual data from the Whiskey Creek Hatchery in Oregon, USA.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. If ocean water became more acidic, how might it affect oyster populations?
  2. What are the possible impacts of climate change on the chemistry of seawater?

About the Tool

Tool Name Ocean Acidification and Oysters Lab
Discipline Chemistry
Topic(s) in Discipline pH Scale, Acids and Bases, Acidification, Ocean Carbonate Chemistry, Seawater Chemistry, Aragonite Saturation State, Ocean Acidity
Climate Topic Climate and the Hydrosphere
Type of Tool Laboratory Activity
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location North America
USA
Language English
Translation
Developed by Hilary Palevsky, UW Oceanography
Hosted at Program on Climate Change, College of the Environment, University of Washington
Link https://pcc.uw.edu/education/classroom-resources/climate-teaching-modules/uwhs-atms-211-ocean-acidification-and-oysters-lab/
Access Online, Offline
Computer Skills Intermediate

(Image credit: Program on Climate Change, College of the Environment, University of Washington)

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: The Impact of Human Activities on the Natural Carbon Cycle

A classroom/laboratory activity to understand the carbon cycle, and to explore how human activities may affect the natural carbon cycle.

Students will run a simulation to explore how an increase in fossil fuel use will affect the natural carbon cycle, and will discuss the possible impacts on flora and fauna.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Which components in the carbon cycle act as carbon sinks?
  2. What are the possible impacts of deforestation on the natural carbon cycle? How might these changes affect the Earth’s climate?

About the Tool

Tool Name The Habitable Planet – Carbon Lab
Discipline Chemistry
Topic(s) in Discipline Carbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles, Environmental Chemistry
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of Tool Laboratory Activity
Grade Level High School
Location  Global
Language English
Translation
Developed by Annenberg Learner
Hosted at Annenberg Learner
Link https://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/interactives/carbon/index.php
Access Online
Computer Skills Intermediate