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Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations

Anne Hall, Environmental Studies at Emory University, From the On The Cutting Edge Collection

An activity focusing on black carbon. This activity explores the impacts of the use of wood, dung, and charcoal for fuel, all which generate black carbon, in developing countries.

Activity takes three class periods. Computer with internet access required.

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Role of aerosols in climate system
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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Access to energy resources affects quality of life.
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7.5 Access to energy affects quality of life.
Some populations are more vulnerable to impacts of energy choices than others.
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Human use of energy is subject to limits and constraints.
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4.2 Human use of energy is subject to limits and constraints.

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2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
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3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:A) Identifying and investigating issues
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Activity on Albedo could supplement the activity to ensure a better understanding of the impacts of black carbon.
  • In-class discussion will generate several broad topics relevant to the use of black carbon generating fuels.
  • Using the jigsaw method, small groups will explore one broad topic related to black carbon, then multi-topic groups will synthesize the information gathered.

About the Science

  • Video clip does a good job of summarizing the basics for black carbon and its impacts.
  • Possible source for confusion: Black carbon isn't a greenhouse gas, but the soot particles warm the atmosphere by absorbing heat and reducing albedo when deposited on ice and snow.
  • Introduction of the term albedo and changes in albedo due to changes in surface colors are a key component in this discussion, which other CLEAN selected resources address: http://cleanet.org/clean/educational_resources/index.html?search_text=albedo&Search=search

About the Pedagogy

  • Well-designed activity with a good introduction to the topic and an effective pedagogic design.
  • Using the jigsaw approach addresses needs of students with different learning styles.
  • Many sources beyond this activity are given for further research.
  • Educator will need to develop their own assessment.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Carefully designed activity with numerous supporting materials

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

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