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Ocean Acidification

K. Tjostheim, M. Price, B. Martin, King's Center for Visualization in Science

This simulation allows students to explore the change in sea surface pH levels with increasing CO2 levels.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

  • Educators might want to review with the students the key terms used in the animation (see legend).
  • No scaffolding is provided and should be given to students when working with the animation.

About the Content

  • Shows the relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and its effect on near sea surface pH and levels of carbonates.
  • Allows user to change CO2 concentrations manually and depicts how surface ocean pH changes accordingly.
  • Assumptions explain the limitations to the simulation as well as describes the basic trends being displayed.
  • Animation is based on the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). They were used in the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) emissions scenarios https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/spm/sres-en.pdf of the 3rd and 4th Climate Assessment. While the scenarios are not used in the most recent report the scenarios are still assumptions that visualize the difference in CO2 concentrations under different emission scenarios.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Nicely shows a simplified relationship between atmospheric CO2 and surface ocean pH.

About the Pedagogy

  • Lacks guided questions, but the ability to manually change the CO2 emissions provides opportunity for authentic exploration and inquiry on the part of the learner.
  • The SRES scenarios provide a basis for a greater discussion linking to future carbon concentration projections in relation to human adaption and mitigation techniques.
  • Animation is easy to understand and easy to manipulate.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Can only be accessed online (need internet connection).
  • Well-designed animation that is easy to manipulate.
Entered the Collection: June 2015 Last Reviewed: June 2015

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