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Capturing Carbon

Nova Science Now

This PBS video shows how Klaus Lackner, a geophysicist at Columbia University, is trying to tackle the problem of rising atmospheric CO2 levels by using an idea inspired by his daughter's 8th-grade science fair project.

Video length: 12:06 min.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 2
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Climate is complex
About Teaching Climate Literacy
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Natural processes of CO2 removal from atmosphere is slow; Long residence time of some GHG
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Humans affect climate
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
Human demand for energy is increasing.
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6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by Earth's internal and external sources of energy.
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2.5 Energy moves between reservoirs.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect 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

  • Use to teach both about climate science and scientific method/research process.
  • Educator should be aware that resource could be construed as advertising for this particular technology.

About the Science

  • Discusses problem of increased CO2 emissions, greenhouse effect, and carbon sequestration.
  • Scientist's research project tries to mimic what a tree can do in terms of absorbing CO2, and releasing O2.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This is an interesting idea, but video should take into account the total estimated cost of removing CO2 from the atmosphere including materials, transportation, and installation and not just the electricity used.

About the Pedagogy

  • Interesting and engaging video about current research and development of innovative ideas related to trapping carbon.
  • Video models the use of scientific method for solving complex problems.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • A 15-second commercial precedes video.
  • Has closed-captioned text that can be turned on/off

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