July 13, 2014

The annual average concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere stood at 395.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2013—a 27 percent increase compared to conditions before the Industrial Revolution. On May 9, 2013, the daily average concentration of CO2 surpassed 400 ppm for the first time at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

Decision Maker's Toolbox Annual Greenhouse Gas Index
June 2, 2014

Since 2004, researchers in NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division have released the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index: a single value that compares the total warming effect of each year's concentrations of heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels.

In this activity, students learn about the pros and cons of co-firing woody biomass fuels with coal to produce electricity.

In this activity, students explore what types of energy resources exist in their state by examining a state map and data from the Energy Information Administration. Students identify the different energy sources in their state, including the state's renewable energy potential.

This short video reviews how nations and individuals can work together to reduce the emission of CO2. It discusses strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (energy conservation, renewable energies, change in energy use) and the role that government can play in this process.

This short video discusses where carbon dioxide, the gas that is mainly responsible for warming up our planet and changing the climate, comes from. It discusses how the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide comes directly from the burning of fossil fuels and indirectly from the human need for energy.

This is a debate-style learning activity in which student teams learn about energy sources and are then assigned to represent the different energy sources. Working cooperatively, students develop arguments on the pros and cons of their source over the others.

This is a laboratory activity in which students will compare the amount of carbon dioxide in four different sources of gas and determine the carbon dioxide contribution from automobiles. They test ambient air, human exhalation, automobile exhaust, and nearly pure carbon dioxide from a vinegar/baking soda mixture.

This video from the U.S. National Academies summarizes the energy challenges the United States faces, including the technological challenges, and the need for changes in consumption and in energy policy.

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