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What Does Carbon Dioxide Have To Do With Global Warming?
http://www.ei.lehigh.edu/eli/cc/resources/video/co2.mov

Richard Alley, Environmental Literacy and Inquiry Working Group, Lehigh University

In this video Dr. Richard Alley poses and addresses a simple question: What does carbon dioxide have to do with global warming?

Video length: 1:30 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

The amount of solar energy absorbed or radiated by Earth is modulated by the atmosphere and depends on its composition. Greenhouse gases—such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane—occur naturally in small amounts and absorb and release heat energy more efficiently than abundant atmospheric gases like nitrogen and oxygen. Small increases in carbon dioxide concentration have a large effect on the climate system.
About Teaching Principle 2
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Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor, are transparent to much of the incoming sunlight but not to the infrared light from the warmed surface of the earth. When greenhouse gases increase, more thermal energy is trapped in the atmosphere, and the temperature of the earth increases the light energy radiated into space until it again equals the light energy absorbed from the sun.
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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

  • Use this video with Richard Alley in conjunction to any of the other CLEAN selected resources about the Earth's energy balance, carbon dioxide and the Greenhouse effect.

About the Science

  • This short video explains the simple physics of how the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cause Earth to warm.
  • It shows graphs of carbon dioxide and global mean temperature over hundreds of thousands of years without an explanation of how these graphs were developed or how these data are causally related.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Strengths include the clear verbal message and use of animated graphics.

About the Pedagogy

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The video resolution is sufficient for projection in a classroom.

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