The Findings From Mauna Loa

This activity involves plotting and comparing monthly data on atmospheric C02 concentrations over two years, as recorded in Mauna Loa and the South Pole, and postulating reasons for differences in their seasonal patterns. Longer-term data is then examined for both sites to see if seasonal variations from one site to the other carry over into longer term trends.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Educator may want to use the text that accompanies this activity [link] to establish context.

While part of curricula designed for high school, the activity could be appropriate for upper middle school students, with appropriate supports and modifications.

Graphing programs could be used or graphs made in advance for students to interpret if an educator wanted to focus on analysis and not making graphs.

Instructions and link are provided at the end of the activity to access current 30+-year data and graphs on carbon cycle gases from NOAA ESRL, which keeps the resource from becoming outdated: [link].

This activity is from the Climate Change guide, which is part of the Global System Sciences curriculum education theme Key Global Problems.