Arctic Tundra May Contribute to Warmer World

In this audio slideshow, an ecologist from the University of Florida describes the radiocarbon dating technique that scientists use to determine the amount of carbon within the permafrost of the Arctic tundra. Understanding the rate of carbon released as permafrost thaws is necessary to understand how this positive feedback mechanism is contributing to climate change that may further increase global surface temperatures.

Go To:

University of Florida
National Science Foundation

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Appropriate for environmental science biology or Earth science courses, grades 6 - 14.

Supporting materials more appropriate for upper high school and undergrad students.

The pieces provide rich materials for an in-depth unit of curriculum on carbon balance, which may include the Nature paper.

Illustrations can be made larger and downloaded or used as handouts.

Younger students could be encouraged to create a concept map illustrating the mechanisms, inputs, and outputs of this carbon cycle and how it contributes to climate change naturally.