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Getting carbon into the ocean is one matter. Getting it down to the depths is another.

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.

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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
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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:

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