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Climate Feedback Loops

King's Centre for Visualization in Science Researchers

This is the seventh of nine lessons in the 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change' website. This lesson addresses climate feedback loops and how these loops help drive and regulate Earth's unique climate system.

Activity takes about 1 to 2 fifty-minute class periods or could be done as a homework assignment.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 2 Performance Expectations, 9 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 8 Cross Cutting Concepts, 6 Science and Engineering Practices

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 lesson is loaded with concepts that build from previous lessons related to this resource.
  • As a final assessment or activity, educator may want students to draw a conceptual diagram of the positive and negative feedback loops related to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. One drawback is no answers provided and may be conducive to teachers imposing their own misconceptions.
  • This series of lessons could also serve teachers in professional development for learning how to implement effective inquiry-based lessons.

About the Science

  • Website and lessons were developed by a collaboration of international chemistry and educational organizations under the UN International Year of Chemistry resolution 2011.
  • This lesson does an effective job of presenting positive and negative feedback loops and how negative feedback loops create a relatively stable climate system.
  • Comments from expert scientist; The applets are easy to follow and the graphics are well done. The material it presents is accurate, but is somewhat limited in time. More examples of negative feedback to warming should be explained, like the volcanos that tend to be much greater negative feedbacks than positive ones. No references in the material.

About the Pedagogy

  • Lesson includes key ideas, applets, keyword definitions hot-linked in the text, and an end-of-lesson quiz, which provides good questions that require critical thinking.
  • Lesson relies on understanding the carbon cycle.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Students are able to work individually on these lessons if they have their own computer.
  • The applets run smoothly (on Macs and PCs) and enhance the final levels of understanding for students.
  • No guide for educators or answer key to the questions available.

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

Home page for Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change is here http://www.explainingclimatechange.ca/Climate%20Change/Lessons/lessons.html

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

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