May 22, 2014

CarbonTracker is a tool for modelling sources and sinks of carbon dioxide. Users can download the code, carbon dioxide data, and the tool's carbon flux estimates to conduct their own analyses or to help improve the system.

Like a prehistoric fly trapped in amber during dinosaurs' days, airborne relics of Earth's earlier climate can end up trapped in glacial ice for eons. How do climate scientists turn those tiny relics into a story about Earth's ancient climate?

March 6, 2014

The Amazon Rainforest is a living warehouse for carbon dioxide. As climate changes, the lush tropical ecosystems of the Amazon Basin may release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they absorb. NOAA scientist John Miller talks about how climate conditions in 2010 and 2011 created a natural experiment on how drought affects the Amazon's carbon balance.

C-ROADS is a simplified version of a climate simulator. Its primary purpose is to help users understand the long-term climate effects (CO2 concentrations, global temperature, sea level rise) of various customized actions to reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions, reduce deforestation, and grow more trees. Students can ask multiple, customized what-if questions and understand why the system reacts as it does.

In this activity, students use the absorption spectra of greenhouse gases to explore the nature of the greenhouse effect.

NASA produced white-board animation video explains key concepts about the role and source of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

Here students use data from the NOAA carbon dioxide monitoring sites, such as Mauna Loa, to graph the Keeling Curve for themselves on large sheets of paper. Each group graphs one year, and the graphs are joined at the end to reveal the overall upward trend. The explanation describes the carbon cycle and how human activities are leading to the overall trend of rising carbon dioxide.

This animated video explains how the molecular structure of atmospheric gases can absorb and re-radiate infrared energy. The video uses simple models and analogies to aid in student understanding.