Carbon, Climate, and Energy Resources
This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process. This rigorous, structured process includes:
- team-based development to ensure materials are appropriate across multiple educational settings.
- multiple iterative reviews and feedback cycles through the course of material development with input to the authoring team from both project editors and an external assessment team.
- real in-class testing of materials in at least 3 institutions with external review of student assessment data.
- multiple reviews to ensure the materials meet the InTeGrate materials rubric which codifies best practices in curricular development, student assessment and pedagogic techniques.
- review by external experts for accuracy of the science content.
This page first made public: Jul 15, 2016
This two-week module focuses on fostering a deeper understanding of the carbon cycle and what happens when it is perturbed. In six self-contained units that would fit well in classes such as Physical Geology, Historical Geology, or Environmental Geology, students will develop their critical thinking skills, explore the dynamics of Earth's carbon cycle through biogeochemistry and the perspective of "deep time," and learn how carbon was sequestered to produce traditional and nontraditional fossil fuels. Now that these subterranean carbon reservoirs have been tapped, students will examine the current state of carbon cycle destabilization, and its potential consequences, before concluding with an examination of strategies available to society, including carbon taxation, artificial sequestration, and several kinds of geoengineering.
Strengths of the ModuleBy analyzing authentic and credible geoscience data, this module grounds individuals' understanding of climate change in the perspective of geologic time and Earth systems thinking (specifically the carbon cycle), as well as arming students with the tools of skepticism in order to recognize fallacious arguments and misinformation about climate science. Activities within this module facilitate students making connections between climate change, energy sources, and the moral, societal, and economic costs of policy options.
A great fit for courses in:
- environmental science
- physical geology
- historical geology
- global change
Supported Earth Science Literacy Principles:
- Big Idea 1: Earth scientists use repeatable observations and testable ideas to understand and explain our planet.
Supported Essential Principles of Climate Science:
2. Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system.
4. Our understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling.
5. Climate varies over space and time through both natural and human-made processes.
6. Human activities are impacting the climate system.
7. Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives.
- Recognizing the signal within the natural variability
- Quantifying consequences, impacts, and effects
- Effectively communicating uncertainty and relative risk
- Determine how to anticipate, avoid, and manage disruptive global environmental change.
- Determine institutional, economic, and behavioral changes to enable effective steps toward global sustainability.
- Encourage innovation (and mechanisms for evaluation) in technological, policy, and social responses to achieve global sustainability.
Table of Contents
- Instructor Materials: Overview of the Carbon, Climate, and Energy Resources Module
Unit 1Identifying Misconceptions & Logical Fallacies Unit 2The Carbon Cycle Unit 3Geologic Record of Past Climate: Paleoclimate through geologic time Unit 4Fossil Fuel Formation Unit 5Modern CO2 Accumulation Unit 6Moving Forward: Evaluating impacts of modern-day initiatives & proposals affecting the carbon-cycle and climate
- Student Materials
- Instructor Stories
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