Initial Publication Date: May 23, 2012

Slowing Down an Amplifying Greenhouse Effect


Do you live near a wind farm or even a single wind turbine? Have you ever thought about its design and what connection its design purpose has to mitigating climate change? There is rising concern among scientists that the rate of current climate change is extraordinary and likely to have numerous adverse effects on our environment, economy, and quality of life. As you discovered in Lab 3, scientific data strongly implicates increased carbon dioxide emissions from human activities as the primary factor causing the amplified greenhouse effect we see today. Thus, finding ways to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere becomes a critical strategy in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change happening now and in our future.

In Part A, you will begin to understand the design and technology process by examining a middle school student's science fair project designed to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and her father's efforts to scale up her idea to use in artificial trees. Next, you will use an interactive to learn about the pros and cons of carbon reduction technology. In Part B, you will take on the role of a journalist, writing a blog on a promising carbon reduction technology for WIRED, a design and technology magazine. In your research, you will evaluate the pros and cons of the technology and present your findings to your class or others.

By the end of this Lab, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate the pros and cons of technologies designed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Keeping Track of What You Learn

Throughout these labs, you will find three 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.
  • Discuss questions are intended to get you talking with your neighbor. These questions require you to pull some concepts together or apply your knowledge in a new situation.
Your teacher will let you know which answers you should record and turn in.