Jump to this Activity »
The Buffer Zone: Acid-base Chemistry in the World

Stefani Hines, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

In this activity, students conduct a short hands-on demonstration that simulates ocean acidification resulting from excess atmospheric carbon dioxide and discuss potential implications of increases in ocean temperatures and acidification due to climate change.

Activity takes about 60-90 minutes to complete. Additional materials necessary.

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

About the Content

  • Student groups conduct a set of acid-base experiments to see what could happen to the pH of the ocean as carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere.
  • While these experiments do not show how carbon dioxide is dissolved into the ocean, they do demonstrate the relevant chemistry.

About the Pedagogy

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Links to key article (In Hot Water...) and other resources listed in the student and teacher guides do not work as of 11/2016. Some resources may need to be supplemented with others.
  • The "In Hot Water" article referred to in the activity is available here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2453177/
  • Both the Student's and Teacher's Guides are well done. They are well organized and provide appropriate background materials for students and guidance for teachers.
Entered the Collection: January 2017 Last Reviewed: September 2016

Jump to this Activity »