Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »
Getting carbon into the ocean is one matter. Getting it down to the depths is another.
http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=80756&cid=30687&cl=23452&tid=5142

Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

This interactive shows the different components of the ocean biological pump, i.e., how carbon in the form of either plankton or particles moves into the ocean's depths. It illustrates the situation at the surface, 0-100 meters, 100-500 meters, and below 500 meters.

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

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

The abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is controlled by biogeochemical cycles that continually move these components between their ocean, land, life, and atmosphere reservoirs. The abundance of carbon in the atmosphere is reduced through seafloor accumulation of marine sediments and accumulation of plant biomass and is increased through deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels as well as through other processes.
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d
Life—including microbes, plants, and animals and humans—is a major driver of the global carbon cycle and can influence global climate by modifying the chemical makeup of the atmosphere. The geologic record shows that life has significantly altered the atmosphere during Earth’s history.
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3e
Natural processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere operate slowly when compared to the processes that are now adding it to the atmosphere. Thus, carbon dioxide introduced into the atmosphere today may remain there for a century or more. Other greenhouse gases, including some created by humans, may remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4g

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

  • This interactive would be best used in an oceanography course.
  • Educators may wish to relate this interactive to ocean acidification or the long-term carbon cycle.
  • Have students explore the interactions among the different depths.
  • Resource could be printed and hung in the classroom as a reference for students

About the Science

  • This interactive provides a simple way to understand how carbon moves into ocean depths (i.e., the ocean biological pump).
  • One thing missing from this interactive image is a sense of how much carbon moves among these depths.
  • Background information is lacking for educators to understand each process in detail.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The material is easy to understand and well presented. The information is well summarized.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students can determine the forms of carbon at each depth using the simple drawings of plankton and particles in the two keys.
  • Arrows and pop-up explanations make it clear how carbon moves among the different depths.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The resource is well-designed with simple colorful visual elements.
  • It requires the Flash player plugin to run on a web browser.

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