This animated slideshow introduces biodiesel as a fuel alternative. With concern about the use of petroleum-based fuels at an all-time high, biodiesel is experiencing a popularity surge. And algaeâotherwise known to some as pond scumâ are grabbing headlines as the next potential biodiesel superstar. But how and why do algae make oil? And why do they make so much of it? In this audio slide show, U.C. Berkeley's Kris Niyogi describes the process and its potential.
In this video segment, two students discuss the greenhouse effect and visit with research scientists at Biosphere 2 in Arizona, who research the effects of global climate change on organisms in a controlled facility. Their current research (as of 2002) focuses on the response to increased quantities of CO2 in a number of different model ecosystems.
This video features Dr. Gary Griggs, scientist with the National Research Council (NRC) and professor at UCSC, reviewing highlights from the recently released report by the NRC about predictions for sea-level rise on the West Coast states. The video includes effective visualizations and animations of the effects of plate tectonics and sea-level rise on the West Coast.
This series of five activities about ocean acidification incorporates real data from NOAA. The activities are organized as a pathway, with five levels increasing in sophistication, and different data-based inquiry activities.
A computer animation on the reason for the seasons. Voice-over describes the motion of Earth around the sun to show how the sun's light impacts the tilted Earth at different times of the year, causing seasonal changes.
This video features research conducted at University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, which studies isotopes of hydrogen trapped in ice cores to understand climate changes in the past.
This short video clip summarizes NOAA's annual State of the Climate Report for 2009. It presents a comprehensive summary of Earth's climate in 2009 and establishes the last decade as the warmest on record. Reduced extent of Arctic sea ice, glacier volume, and snow cover reflect the effects of rising global temperature.
In this learning activity, students use a web-based carbon calculator to determine their carbon footprint on the basis of their personal and household habits and choices. Students identify which personal activities and household choices produce the most CO2 emissions, compare their carbon footprint to the U.S. and global averages, and identify lifestyle changes they can make to reduce their footprint.
This is a long-term inquiry activity in which students investigate locations they believe harbor cellulose-digesting microbes, collect samples, isolate them on selective media, and screen them for cellulase activity. These novel microbes may be useful for the production of cellulosic ethanol. In the process they learn about plating techniques, serial dilutions, symbiotic relationships and enzyme specificity. Two methods are provided, one focusing on isolation of pure microbial strains, the other focusing on finding symbiotic communities of microbes.