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Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations
http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/energy/activities/32421.html

Anne Hall, Environmental Studies at Emory University, From the On The Cutting Edge Collection

An activity focusing on black carbon. This activity explores the impacts of the use of wood, dung, and charcoal for fuel, all which generate black carbon, in developing countries.


Activity takes three class periods. Computer with internet access required.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

A combination of strategies is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The most immediate strategy is conservation of oil, gas, and coal, which we rely on as fuels for most of our transportation, heating, cooling, agriculture, and electricity. Short-term strategies involve switching from carbon-intensive to renewable energy sources, which also requires building new infrastructure for alternative energy sources. Long-term strategies involve innovative research and a fundamental change in the way humans use energy.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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Actions taken by individuals, communities, states, and countries all influence climate. Practices and policies followed in homes, schools, businesses, and governments can affect climate. Climate-related decisions made by one generation can provide opportunities as well as limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation. Steps toward reducing the impact of climate change may influence the present generation by providing other benefits such as improved public health infrastructure and sustainable built environments.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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Airborne particulates, called "aerosols," have a complex effect on Earth’s energy balance: they can cause both cooling, by reflecting incoming sunlight back out to space, and warming, by absorbing and releasing heat energy in the atmosphere. Small solid and liquid particles can be lofted into the atmosphere through a variety of natural and man-made processes, including volcanic eruptions, sea spray, forest fires, and emissions generated through human activities.
About Teaching Principle 2
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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.
Some populations are more vulnerable to impacts of energy choices than others.
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7.6 Vulnerable populations.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
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Energy affects quality of life .
Human use of energy is subject to limits and constraints.
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4.2 Human use of energy is subject to limits and constraints.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
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A) Processes that shape the Earth.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:C) Energy
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C) Energy.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:B) Culture
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B) Culture.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:C) Political and economic systems
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C) Political and economic systems.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:D) Global Connections
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D) Global Connections.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:C) Resources
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C) Resources.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:A) Identifying and investigating issues
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A) Identifying and investigating issues.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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The global environment is affected by national and international policies and practices relating to energy use, waste disposal, ecological management, manufacturing, and population.
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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

  • Activity on Albedo could supplement the activity to ensure a better understanding of the impacts of black carbon.
  • In-class discussion will generate several broad topics relevant to the use of black carbon generating fuels.
  • Using the jigsaw method, small groups will explore one broad topic related to black carbon, then multi-topic groups will synthesize the information gathered.

About the Science

  • Video clip does a good job of summarizing the basics for black carbon and its impacts.
  • Possible source for confusion: Black carbon isn't a greenhouse gas, but the soot particles warm the atmosphere by absorbing heat and reducing albedo when deposited on ice and snow.
  • Introduction of the term albedo and changes in albedo due to changes in surface colors are a key component in this discussion, which other CLEAN selected resources address: http://cleanet.org/clean/educational_resources/index.html?search_text=albedo&Search=search

About the Pedagogy

  • Well-designed activity with a good introduction to the topic and an effective pedagogic design.
  • Using the jigsaw approach addresses needs of students with different learning styles.
  • Many sources beyond this activity are given for further research.
  • Educator will need to develop their own assessment.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Carefully designed activity with numerous supporting materials

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN


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