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MIT's Greenhouse Gas Simulator
http://climateinteractive.org/simulations/mits-greenhouse-gas-simulator

John Sherman, MIT

One of a suite of online climate interactive simulations, this Greenhouse Gas Simulator uses the bathtub model to demonstrate how atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will continue to rise unless they are lowered to match the amount of CO2 that can be removed through natural processes.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Humans may be able to mitigate climate change or lessen its severity by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations through processes that move carbon out of the atmosphere or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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A combination of strategies is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The most immediate strategy is conservation of oil, gas, and coal, which we rely on as fuels for most of our transportation, heating, cooling, agriculture, and electricity. Short-term strategies involve switching from carbon-intensive to renewable energy sources, which also requires building new infrastructure for alternative energy sources. Long-term strategies involve innovative research and a fundamental change in the way humans use energy.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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ans can take actions to reduce climate change and its impacts.
About Teaching Principle H
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man activities are impacting the climate system
About Teaching Principle H
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Energy Literacy

Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
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Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .

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

  • Educator should be familiar enough with the simulator and concepts being addressed to be able to help walk students through the complex aspects of the activity.
  • Educator should go over the instructions and the units on the graphs before learners launch the animation.

About the Science

  • Building on the bathtub animation that helps convey the challenges of stabilizing and reducing carbon emissions, this simulator includes substantial background information that may be appropriate for advanced high school, undergraduate students, or professionals involved with reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The simulator includes important concepts including sink saturation and positive feedbacks, but learners without guidance may miss the importance of these concepts.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Provided background on CO2, its sources and sinks, and Kyoto protocol, is generally strong and put in simple concepts for easy understanding. Especially the concept of the bathtub and the overflowing water is an interesting analogy. Design of the simulator is also appropriate since it is easy to run and self-explanatory.

About the Pedagogy

  • This simulation can be done as a lab but will need to be guided for learners to be able to take away all the information embedded in this simulation/activity.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Content in simulation is on occasion covered with a pop-up window.
  • Users may find some of the options for the simulation unclear in terms of their relevance or importance.

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