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Decrease in Carbon Isotope Rations
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-6-2.html

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

This three-panel figure is an infographic showing how carbon and oxygen isotope ratios, temperature, and carbonate sediments have changed during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. The figure caption provides sources to scientific articles from which this data was derived. A graphic visualization from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows the rapid decrease in carbon isotope ratios that is indicative of a large increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gases CO2 and CH4, which was coincident with approximately 5C of global warming.

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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.
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Scientific observations indicate that global climate has changed in the past, is changing now, and will change in the future. The magnitude and direction of this change is not the same at all locations on Earth.
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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.
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Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
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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

About the Science

  • How carbon and oxygen isotope ratios, temperature, and carbonate sediments changed during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum in the Southern, Central Pacific, and South Atlantic oceans.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Could be paired with any lesson plan on paleoclimate, paleoceanography, and global change. A good complementary resource.

About the Pedagogy

  • The static visualization should be paired with the 2007 IPCC report found.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html

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