This activity introduces students to visualization capabilities available through NASA's Earth Observatory, global map collection, NASA NEO and ImageJ. Using these tools, students build several animations of satellite data that illustrate carbon pathways through the Earth system.
Students gain experience using a spreadsheet and working with others to decide how to conduct their model 'experiments' with the NASA GEEBITT (Global Equilibrium Energy Balance Interactive Tinker Toy). This activity helps students become more familiar with the physical processes that made Earth's early climate so different from that of today. Students also acquire first-hand experience with a limitation in modeling, specifically, parameterization of critical processes.
This narrated animation displays three separate graphs of carbon emissions by humans, atmospheric concentrations of CO2, and average global temperature as it has changed over the last 1000 years. The final slide overlays the three graphs to show how they all correspond.
Students explore the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 40 years with an interactive online model. They use the model and observations to estimate present emission rates and emission growth rates. The model is then used to estimate future levels of carbon dioxide using different future emission scenarios. These different scenarios are then linked by students to climate model predictions also used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.