Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »
Climate Momentum Simulation
http://climateinteractive.org/simulations/climate-momentum-simulation

Drew Drew Jones, Nicholas Owens, Climate Interactive

The Climate Momentum Simulation allows users to quickly compare the resulting sea level rise, temperature change, atmospheric CO2, and global CO2 emissions from six different policy options: 1) Business As Usual, 2) March 2009 Country Proposals, 3) Flatten CO2 emissions by 2025, 4) 29% below 2009 levels by 2040, 5) 80% reduction of global fossil fuel plus a 90% reduction in land use emissions by 2050, and 6) 95 reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020). Based on the more complex C-ROADS simulator.

Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Actions taken by individuals, communities, states, and countries all influence climate. Practices and policies followed in homes, schools, businesses, and governments can affect climate. Climate-related decisions made by one generation can provide opportunities as well as limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation. Steps toward reducing the impact of climate change may influence the present generation by providing other benefits such as improved public health infrastructure and sustainable built environments.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPg
Emissions from the widespread burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution have increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Because these gases can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years before being removed by natural processes, their warming influence is projected to persist into the next century.
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6b
Melting of ice sheets and glaciers, combined with the thermal expansion of seawater as the oceans warm, is causing sea level to rise. Seawater is beginning to move onto low-lying land and to contaminate coastal fresh water sources and beginning to submerge coastal facilities and barrier islands. Sea-level rise increases the risk of damage to homes and buildings from storm surges such as those that accompany hurricanes.
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7a

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
7.3 Environmental quality.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
Energy affects quality of life .
One way to manage energy resources is through conservation.
Other materials addressing:
6.2 Conserving energy.
Human demand for energy is increasing.
Other materials addressing:
6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
Other materials addressing:
Human use of energy.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
Decisions to slow the depletion of energy resources can be made at many levels, from personal to national, and they always involve trade-offs involving economic costs and social values.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

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

  • One of a suite of simulations designed to help convey the challenge of reducing emissions and how various reduction scenarios will play out on sea level and temperature.
  • There is no specific teacher's guide for this animation. Interested educators will need to refer to material on the C-ROADS simulator that was used to develop the outputs. See: http://climateinteractive.org/simulations/C-ROADS/overview.

About the Science

  • A simple simulation with slider bar that shows how different scenarios impact sea level rise, temperature, atmospheric CO2 and Global CO2 emissions.
  • This simulation was designed by Drew Jones and Nicholas Owens of Booksmuggler using output from the C-ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support) simulation (see http://climateinteractive.org/simulations/C-ROADS/overview).
  • C-ROADS is a decision-maker-oriented simulation that helps users understand the long-term climate impacts of scenarios to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • There is a thorough technical reference (including data sources from IPCC AR4) for C-ROADS at http://climateinteractive.org/simulations/C-ROADS/technical/technical-reference/C-ROADS%20simulation%20reference%20guide%20.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Illustrates the concept of CO2 "residence" time, and that there is some level of committed climate change, regardless of emissions reductions (i.e. "climate momentum"). I think this is a concept a lot of people don't appreciate, so this is a useful tool. Presentation is nice and clean; easy to understand what's happening, even for a general audience.

About the Pedagogy

  • This visualization is a convenient way of presenting four important projected climate impacts for years 2000-2100 based on six different scenarios.
  • It would be helpful to have more info about the scenarios – although the bottom panel (CO2) emissions gives a good indication of what drives the simulations.
  • By comparing the results, students will get a sense of the impacts of several global policy options.
  • Because users are not running the full C-ROADS simulations but rather looking at the outputs from the six different runs, they may not fully appreciate the policy options or how the results are obtained, but this can serve as an introduction to help set the stage for examining the assumptions and data embedded in the C-ROADS simulator.
  • One small but important piece of the puzzle this simulation demonstrates is that sea level and temperature will continue to rise even if we achieve 95% reduction of carbon emissions.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • There is a widget that can be downloaded to embed the tool on other websites.
  • This resource runs in Adobe Flash, which is not available for all devices such as iPads.

Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »



Have you used these materials with your students? Do you have insights to share with other educators about their use? Please share with the community by adding a comment below.

Please use this space only for discussion about teaching with these particular materials.
For more general discussion about teaching climate literacy please use our general discussion boards.
To report a problem or direct a comment to the CLEAN project team please use our feedback form (or the feedback link at the bottom of every page).
Off-topic posts will be deleted.

Join the Discussion


Log in to reply