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C-Learn: the International Climate Change Simulation
http://climateinteractive.org/simulations/c-learn/simulation

Climate Interactive

C-Learn is a simplified version of the C-ROADS simulator. Its primary purpose is to help users understand the long-term climate effects (CO2 concentrations, global temperature, sea level rise) of various customized actions to reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions, reduce deforestation, and grow more trees. Students can ask multiple, customized what-if questions and understand why the system reacts as it does.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Humans may be able to mitigate climate change or lessen its severity by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations through processes that move carbon out of the atmosphere or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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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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Observations, experiments, and theory are used to construct and refine computer models that represent the climate system and make predictions about its future behavior. Results from these models lead to better understanding of the linkages between the atmosphere-ocean system and climate conditions and inspire more observations and experiments. Over time, this iterative process will result in more reliable projections of future climate conditions.
About Teaching Principle 5
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Emissions from the widespread burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution have increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Because these gases can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years before being removed by natural processes, their warming influence is projected to persist into the next century.
About Teaching Principle 6
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Energy Literacy

Increasing demand for and limited supplies of fossil fuels affects quality of life.
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7.4 Fossil fuel supplies are limited.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
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Energy affects quality of life .
Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
Earth has finite energy resources.
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6.4 Earth has finite energy resources.
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Human use of energy.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
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Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

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.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
Decisions to slow the depletion of energy resources can be made at many levels, from personal to national, and they always involve trade-offs involving economic costs and social values.
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Computer modeling explores the logical consequences of a set of instructions and a set of data. The instructions and data input of a computer model try to represent the real world so the computer can show what would actually happen. In this way, computers assist people in making decisions by simulating the consequences of different possible decisions.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

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

  • Educators will have to provide students with enough background material to help them create interesting scenarios.
  • Encourage them to run a set of scenarios that allows them to compare the results of different policy options.
  • Suggest reading the Briefing, Introduction, and FAQ (http://forio.com/simulation/climate-development/htm/faqs2.htm) tabs and decide the concepts you want the learners to emphasize.
  • Instructors should spend some time playing with the simulator before using it in class.
  • For high-school learners, more scaffolding would be needed.

About the Science

  • Students are able to change the fossil fuel emissions of CO2, measured in Gigatons (billions of tons) of CO2 per year, from the three regional country groups (i.e., developed, developing A, developing B ) as a percentage of Reference Year emissions reached by 2050.
  • The reference scenario used here is based on the IPCC scenario know as A1FI.
  • There is a thorough technical reference (including data sources from IPCC AR4) for C-ROADS at http://climateinteractive.org/simulations/C-ROADS/technical/technical-reference/C-ROADS%20simulation%20reference%20guide%20.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The creators of this activity have successfully produced a tool that an intelligent stakeholder could use to make an informed decision.

About the Pedagogy

  • One of a suite of visualizations from C-Learn this interactive can help augment research or discussions about the challenges and opportunities relating to reducing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.
  • C-Learn allows students to run their own scenarios and examine the results. Although there are only a small number of variables that can be changed in any scenario, the number of permutations provides a wide range of policy options to explore.
  • There is an extensive set of instructions at http://forio.com/simulation/climate-development/htm/instructions.htm. There are popups to explain key words and concepts.
  • A fuller understanding entails looking at the assumptions and data embedded in the C-ROADS simulator.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Easy to use and simple.
  • For information on the assumptions in the C-Learn simulation, review the technical information on C-ROADS (of which C-Learn is a derivative – the carbon cycle, forests, and climate sectors are identical).

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

Climate Interactive: http://www.climateinteractive.org/

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