Climate scientist Anthony Janetos makes it clear that climate change isn't some future abstraction: real and substantial impacts on people's lives, the economy, the environment, and our valuable natural resources are already happening here in the United States.
Each of the last three decades was warmer than all earlier decades in the instrumental record, and each set a new and statistically significant record, culminating in the 2000s, which was the warmest decade of all.
Global climate models project that near the end of the 21st century, average surface temperature over most of Earth’s surface will be several degrees warmer than today, mainly due to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide is everywhere: in the air, rising from cracks in the ocean floor, and in your soda can. Now it's showing up in the news! Find out why carbon dioxide is such a hot topic, and why it's going to be around for a long, long time.
In this activity, students graph and analyze methane data, extracted from an ice core, to examine how atmospheric methane has changed over the past 109,000 years in a case study format. Calculating the rate of change of modern methane concentrations, they compare the radiative forcing of methane and carbon dioxide and make predictions about the future, based on what they have learned from the data and man's role in that future.
In this short, hands-on activity, students build simple molecular models of 4 atmospheric gases (O2, N2, C02, and methane), compare their resonant frequencies, and make the connection between resonant frequency and the gas's ability to absorb infrared radiation.