Jump to this Activity »
Carbon Temperature Model

NASA: Challenger Center, NASA

With this carbon/temperature interactive model, students investigate the role of atmospheric carbon in the greenhouse effect using a relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature.

Two 50-minute class periods for the interactive or one class period and one at-home assignment.

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

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d

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 .
Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
Other materials addressing:
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Different sources of energy and the different ways energy can be transformed, transported and stored each have different benefits and drawbacks.
Other materials addressing:
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .
Humans live within Earth's ecosystems.
Other materials addressing:
3.6 Humans live within Earth's ecosystems..
Biological processes depend on energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
Biological processes depend on energy flow.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:B) Changes in matter
Other materials addressing:
B) Changes in matter.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:C) Energy
Other materials addressing:
C) Energy.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:D) Flow of matter and energy
Other materials addressing:
D) Flow of matter and energy.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

If a system in equilibrium is disturbed, it may return to a very similar state of equilibrium, or it may undergo a radical change until the system achieves a new state of equilibrium with very different conditions, or it may fail to achieve any type of equilibrium.
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

  • Educator should explore the entire 'New to the Site' and 'For Teachers' sections of the activity and do a run-through of the tool before students use it.
  • Younger students may require a more guided-inquiry approach (step-by-step worksheet).
  • This could be a self-guided investigation for students or utilized as a class investigation. Educators could use the interactive then jump into further investigations based on those scenarios by using the other activities in the teacher section.

About the Science

  • An interactive model on carbon-temperature relationships from NASA's Challenger Center. The model sets up an interface in which users select a scenario (such as deforestation, volcanoes, hurricanes) and change the inputs to and outputs of the system. As users change variables, the results are graphically represented, demonstrating how selections affect the whole system.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This activity is quite interesting to be applied in the classroom. Students can get a clear idea about the possible sensitivities of sitema climate. The physics involved behind the calculations is not shown, or at least some references or supplementary materials could be indicated.

About the Pedagogy

  • A very clear and concise set of teacher materials. Well-organized and well-thought-out resource with supporting materials and well-written directions to use the interactive.
  • This model is a great way to have students research the shifting balance of Earth's system. Scenarios allow students to select and investigate the changes first hand while visually seeing the changes represented on a graph.
  • Option to have students print out their results and add their own observations, after they've made their selections.
  • Website http://earth4u.challenger.org/ offers educators support for implementing additional lessons based on carbon and climate change.
  • Students need to be encouraged to read through instructions carefully before starting.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

Jump to this Activity »

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