It's Us

This video segment from 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' explores how we know that today's increased levels of CO2 are caused by humans burning fossil fuels and not by some natural process, such as volcanic out-gassing. Climate scientist Richard Alley provides a detailed step-by-step explanation that examines the physics and chemistry of different "flavors," or isotopes, of carbon in Earth's atmosphere.

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Geoff Haines-Stiles Productions
The Operators' Manual

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Use to start a discussion or unit about various sources and types of CO2 in the atmosphere.

This video helps debunk the misconception that volcanoes emit more CO2 into the atmosphere than human activities. Humans emit far more CO2 into the atmosphere than volcanoes.

Additional resources from this program are available here:

If needed, students can review fossil fuel formation in segment 3 of this same set of resources.