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The Global Carbon Budget 1960 - 2100
http://carboncycle.aos.wisc.edu/carbon-budget-tool/

Galen McKinley, University of Wisconsin - Madison

This simulation allows the user to project CO2 sources and sinks by adjusting the points on a graph and then running the simulation to see projections for the impact on atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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Greenhouse effect
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Climate is complex
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Evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change
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Observations, experiments, and theory are used to construct and refine computer models
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Increased GHG concentrations in atmosphere will remain high for centuries and affect future climate
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
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Energy affects quality of life .
Human demand for energy is increasing.
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6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
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Human use of energy.
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 .

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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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.
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Computer modeling explores the logical consequences of a set of instructions and a set of data. The instructions and data input of a computer model try to represent the real world so the computer can show what would actually happen. In this way, computers assist people in making decisions by simulating the consequences of different possible decisions.
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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

  • Direct students to watch each projection at least twice: Once while focusing on the graph being produced, and then again to watch changes in the graphic at the bottom of the page.

About the Science

  • An interactive way to look at the global carbon cycle and its relationship with global warming.
  • The estimated global temperature response is a rough scaling based upon average IPCC AR4 (2007) model sensitivity to atmospheric CO2.
  • Students can adjust CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and land use (sources) and uptake from oceans and land (sinks).
  • Comments from expert scientist: A one-of-a-kind resource that I use frequently in graduate and undergrad teaching, teacher training, and K-gray outreach. An essential tool for teaching climate science, climate policy, scenario development and integrated assessment.

About the Pedagogy

  • Excellent graphic that shows changes in the carbon cycle given different scenarios of fossil fuel use in the future.
  • Students use the interactive as a tool to predict what temperature conditions on Earth will be given different levels of carbon injected into the atmosphere.
  • Shows the complexities of climate change and the usefulness and limitations of modeling.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The teacher may need to explain to students that they must select a button under sources or sinks before they can manipulate the graph on the left.
  • Good introductory material on home page http://carboncycle.aos.wisc.edu/. Easy to use and analyze the results.

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