Carbon Cycle

This activity from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory introduces students to the scientific understanding of the greenhouse effect and the carbon cycle. The activity leads them through several interactive tasks to investigate recent trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Students analyze scientific data and use scientific reasoning to determine the causes responsible for these recent trends. By studying carbon cycle science in a visual and interactive manner, students can learn firsthand about the reasons behind our changing climate.

Go To:

NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Make a worksheet with the questions posed after each step of the task to give students a place to write their answers. Some students may need a similar worksheet for the Basics section.

Educators may want learners to begin with an exploration of the visualization to look for trends before they launch into the reading.

Different locations can be assigned to different groups to reduce the repetitiveness of the activity as described.

Video on "What's in the Air" about NOAA's Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases group can help provide background on the program: