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U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Chart

World Resource Insitute

This flow chart shows the sources and activities across the U.S. economy that produce greenhouse gas emissions.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Static Visualization supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Increased GHG concentrations in atmosphere will remain high for centuries and affect future climate
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6b

Energy Literacy

Amount of energy used can be calculated and monitored.
Other materials addressing:
6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.

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

  • The image contains a lot of information and can be used as a supplement for many lessons on production of greenhouse gases by humans and human impacts on climate.

About the Science

  • The image shows all human contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Energy use is by far responsible for the majority of greenhouse gases.
  • Most activities produce greenhouse gases both directly, through on-site and transport use of fossil fuels, and indirectly from heat and electricity that comes "from the grid."
  • All emissions data is from 2003.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • There is a lot going on with the arrows in this image, but students can follow the different colored arrows from the sector to end use to the produced greenhouse gas fairly easily.
  • Students can compare this graphic to CO2 emissions in the year 2000.
  • There are related resources supplied at the bottom of the webpage.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • A key is not provided for the different colors of Category/IPCC Reporting Sector, End Use/Activity, Gas, and terms are not defined, which may cause confusion for learners.
  • Graphic can be enlarged and downloaded and saved and printed on 8 x 10 paper

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Static Visualization supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

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

HS-ESS3.A1:Resource availability has guided the development of human society.

HS-ESS3.A2:All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 1

Cause and effect

HS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.

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