Carbon, Climate, and Energy Resources
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
Instructor Stories: How this module was adapted
for use at several institutions »
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
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