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Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: The Future of Global Climate

Laura Guertin, Penn State University Delaware County
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1) According to NASA, why is Earth's climate warming?

2) Is the Geritol solution the solution to global warming? Explain what the "Geritol solution" is, and then state your opinion as to why you think we should pursue this, or why it is a bad idea.

3) Is the Earth really warming? Who should be believe? What should we do?

Student Responses:

See the Just-in-Time Teaching page on assessment for information and ideas on how to evaluate student responses.

Instructors should plan to review definitions of terms such as phytoplankton and greenhouse gas. A review of global ocean circulation will also be helpful for students. Students will question the Geritol solution - why haven't they heard about this before, how much iron would it take, has anyone tried this in a laboratory. Be prepared for student frustrations on the conflicting reports of global climate change (is warming really occurring, and what is causing it?).

References and Notes:

Articles that students may be assigned to read for this set of questions include (but are not limited to):

Will Runaway Water Warm the World? NASA's Earth Observatory (more info) , March 2004.

Study Challenges Idea of Seeding Oceans With Iron to Curb Global Warming, National Geographic News (more info) , January 2001.

Can Iron-Enriched Oceans Thwart Global Warming? National Geographic News (more info) , June 2004.

Antarctica Gives Mixed Signals on Warming, National Geographic News (more info) , January 2002.

The use of Just-in-Time Teaching is discussed in detail on the JiTT Starting Point page.

Additional information on JiTT is available in the book:


Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climatology , Geoscience:Oceanography:Physical , Biological, Geoscience:Geology

Resource Type

Activities:Classroom Activity:Just in Time Teaching

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Solid Earth, Oceans:Biological Oceanography, Climate, Atmosphere


Ocean:Physical Oceanography, Biological Oceanography , Human Dimensions/Resources, Climate, Earth surface


Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Oceanography, Atmospheric Science, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Climate Change