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Getting carbon into the ocean is one matter. Getting it down to the depths is another.
http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=116857&cid=30687&cl=23452&tid=5782

Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

This interactive graphic 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. The diagram illustrates the processes at the surface, 0-100 meters, 100-500 meters, and below 500 meters.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d
Biosphere drives the global carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3e
Natural processes of CO2 removal from atmosphere is slow; Long residence time of some GHG
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 via 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.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

MS-PS3.D1:The chemical reaction by which plants produce complex food molecules (sugars) requires an energy input (i.e., from sunlight) to occur. In this reaction, carbon dioxide and water combine to form carbon-based organic molecules and release oxygen.

MS-PS3.D2:Cellular respiration in plants and animals involve chemical reactions with oxygen that release stored energy. In these processes, complex molecules containing carbon react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and other materials.

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Systems and System Models

MS-C4.1: Systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems.

MS-C4.2: Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.

MS-C4.3:Models are limited in that they only represent certain aspects of the system under study.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

HS-ESS2.D2:Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-LS2.B3:Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important components of the carbon cycle, in which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere through chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.

HS-PS3.D2:The main way that solar energy is captured and stored on Earth is through the complex chemical process known as photosynthesis.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Systems and System Models

HS-C4.2:When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.

HS-C4.3:Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions—including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.

HS-C4.4:Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models.


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