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Too Much Carbon Dioxide

Utah Education Network

This short animated video provides a general overview of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, and the greenhouse effect.

Video length is 2:45 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

  • Video makes its points quickly and effectively but lacks the nuance and detail that older audiences would require.
  • Video uses the atmosphere as a blanket analogy (e.g., it shows heat bouncing off the bottom of the atmosphere, suggesting that trapped heat is generated on Earth rather than solar radiation generating the heat and the atmosphere trapping it), which may lead to misconceptions. The instructor should plan to address these misconceptions.
  • The video also shows the atmosphere animated with O2 atoms and nothing else. This is another misconception that the atmosphere is mostly made of oxygen. Students should be made aware of this misconception.
  • Comments from expert scientist: clarity of language and good use of graphics. It is not precise to say that the Sun delivers light and heat. The Sun delivers radiation (short-wave) that is used by the Earth to warm. The Earth emits thermal radiation (long-wave) that is trapped in the atmosphere.

About the Pedagogy

  • Uses an engaging cartoon format. Short and to the point regarding what is causing the greenhouse effect. This is a simplified approach that is suitable for middle school students as long as the misconceptions are addressed.
  • No transcript or teacher's guide is available.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The animation style of this video will not suffer if projected in a classroom.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

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.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

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

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