Carbon and the Atmosphere: My Life as a Greenhouse Gas
- How do carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases warm our Earth?
- Will there be any consequences for Earth if we continue to burn fossil fuels, and if so, what should we do about it?
In Part A, you will investigate carbon dioxide's capacity to absorb infrared radiation as a greenhouse gas. Then, you will conduct a simple experiment that measures the relationship between added carbon dioxide and temperature change in a plastic soda bottle.
In Part B, you will analyze how concentrations of global carbon dioxide, and temperature have changed since the advent of the Industrial revolution. You will apply systems thinking strategies to identify feedback relationships between a warming atmosphere and changes in the carbon cycle.
In Part C, you will use a carbon footprint to identify the amount of CO2 your family emits to the atmosphere.
By the end of this investigation, you should be able to:
- Explain how carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation and warm the atmosphere.
- Describe the relationship between changes in carbon dioxide levels and changes in atmospheric temperature.
Describe feedback relationships between a warming atmosphere and changes in the carbon cycle.
Keeping Track of What You LearnThroughout these labs, you will find two kinds of questions.
- Checking In questions are intended to keep you engaged and focused on key concepts and to allow you to periodically check if the material is making sense. These questions are often accompanied by hints or answers to let you know if you are on the right track.
- Stop and Think questions are intended to help your teacher assess your understanding of the key concepts and skills you should be learning from the lab activities and readings.