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Gapminder: Unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view.


In this interactive simulation, students can explore global CO2 emissions displayed by different continents/countries and plotted based on the GDP. A map view is also accessible.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Increased GHG concentrations in atmosphere will remain high for centuries and affect future climate
About Teaching Principle 6
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Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
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Energy Literacy

Access to energy resources affects quality of life.
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7.5 Access to energy affects quality of life.
Human demand for energy is increasing.
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6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Social and economic forces strongly influence which technologies will be developed and used. Which will prevail is affected by many factors, such as personal values, consumer acceptance, patent laws, the availability of risk capital, the federal budget, local and national regulations, media attention, economic competition, and tax incentives.
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The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
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Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere, and intensive farming, have changed the earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere. Some of these changes have decreased the capacity of the environment to support some life forms.
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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

  • This tool can be used in science classes, history classes, and economics classes.
  • The map tool allows students to access the data from another view than just by looking at the graph interface.
  • Simulation allows educator to explore the contribution to increased CO2 concentration and contrast it to the countries who will suffer the most from a changing climate.
  • Start: have students explore the animation and ask questions what animation shows.
  • Great opportunity for students to explore, potential for feeling overwhelmed by data and information, careful scaffolding will help for first few explorations of data sets.
  • Wrap up lesson: Show one of Hans Rosling's TED talks.
  • Science teachers could use this to provoke students' thinking, disrupt notions, bust myths.
  • Lots of other data given on Y-axis.

About the Science

  • A statistical imaging tool for multiple data sets, including cumulative CO2 emissions in metric tons and CO2 intensity of economic output kg CO2 per 2005 PPP $ of GDP
  • Reference to data sources given.
  • Comments from expert scientist: A nice visual display of CO2 data. This data can be plotted against many other societal metrics. The plotting of the CO2 data is informative in that it is nicely scaled to illustrate emissions per capita/country. Emissions data is available for many different countries. Just a little out of date; most recent year for CO2 emissions is 2011.

About the Pedagogy

  • Has a link for educators to view how others are using Gapminder in their teaching (video tutorial).
  • If student audience is diverse with different nationalities, students will likely be very interested in engaging in the exploration of data by looking at their and other home countries.
  • Statistics presented in a visually appealing and engaging way.
  • Many variables - scaffolding is required.
  • Viewer could miss a lot if not all the pieces presented in this animation are shown.
  • PDF-guide for teachers is available.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent quality

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