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Climate Change: The Multiplier Effect
https://www.amnh.org/explore/resource-collections/climate-change-the-multiplier-effect2

American Museum of Natural History

This web-based interactive exercise explores the concept of how individual actions can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It illustrates how multiplying these choices and human behaviors on a larger scale can help mitigate climate change. Users are shown the consequences of their choices and asked to commit to making a difference.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 1 Cross Cutting Concept
High School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Greenhouse gas reduction and carbon dioxide sequestration to mitigate climate change
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPd
Strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emission (energy conservation, renewable energies, change in energy use)
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPe
Actions taken by different levels of society can mitigate climate change and increase preparedness for current and future generations
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPg
Humans can take action
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans can take action
Humans affect climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans affect climate

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
7.3 Environmental quality.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
Energy affects quality of life .
One way to manage energy resources is through conservation.
Other materials addressing:
6.2 Conserving energy.
Social and technological innovation affects the amount of energy used by human society.
Other materials addressing:
6.5 Social and technological innovation.
Behavior and design affect the amount of energy used by human society.
Other materials addressing:
6.6 Behavior and design.
Amount of energy used can be calculated and monitored.
Other materials addressing:
6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.
Other materials addressing:
Human use of energy.

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

  • We recommend that the teacher uses and becomes familiar with the resource before classroom use. Creating an activity sheet to use with the resource to provide learning objectives and guide student learning would be helpful.
  • Teachers should be aware that this resource may need to be framed differently for different student audiences. For example, if most students live in apartments they may not be able to plant trees or if students take public transportation they can't reduce their driving, making these choices for action not applicable. If students have already taken actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, teachers may want to frame the activity as what they've already contributed, even though the resource only frames it as what will happen if that action is taken.

About the Science

  • This visualization allows users to explore how their actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can be enhanced when many others take similar actions. The overall effect of people taking actions to reduce energy use are added up to show resulting reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Sources for the calculations of saved CO2 emissions are not given, but seem to align with other estimates of these activities.
  • Some of the solutions use older and less effective solutions than those that are available today.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - Explains that trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and that an average tree in North America removes about 66 kilograms (145 pounds) of CO2 per year. Quantifies the results of planting trees based on different scenarios. Also describes how trees can help with other energy efficient ways (i.e. providing shade).
    - Explains that every gallon of gasoline burned emits about 9 kilograms (19 pounds) of CO2. The average U.S. driver emits 5.5 metric tons of CO2 per year. Calculates an estimation of personal CO2 emissions based on the car type and miles driven on a daily basis. Quantifies the results of reducing emissions baed on different scenarios.
    - Explains that 60-watt incandescent creates 114 kilograms (252 pounds) of CO2 per 1,000 hours of use in the U.S. and 13-watt CFL creates 22 kilograms (49 pounds) of CO2 per 1,000 hours of use in the U.S. Quantifies the results of reducing emissions baed on different scenarios.
    Suggestions:
    It should be noted that the 'savings' of CO2 based on different scenarios are not precise but rather good estimates.

About the Pedagogy

  • This visualization allows students to explore different types of energy conservation strategies and determine how much those actions would offset carbon dioxide emissions.
  • This resource is open-ended so the learner can explore different scenarios on how changing energy use behaviors affects greenhouse gas emissions at different levels.
  • Not all life-choices used in the activity are applicable to everyone, but option exploration provides visual evidence of what it takes to make large scale changes.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Interactive visualization is intuitive to use.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

MS-ESS3.C2:Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 1

Cause and effect

MS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

HS-ESS3.C1:The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.


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