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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 we 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, March 2004.

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

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

Antarctica Gives Mixed Signals on Warming, National Geographic News, 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:

  • Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology. Novak et al., 1999 The authors explain what Just-in-Time Teaching is, its underlying goals and philosophies, and how to implement it. They also provide an extensive section of tested resource materials that can be used in introductory physics courses with the JiTT approach. (citation and description)