These five short videos are an introduction to the pros and cons of energy issues, including cost, choices, efficiency, environmental impact, and scale. The videos are segments of a feature documentary entitled, Switch: Discover the Future of Energy.

Students consider why the observed atmospheric CO2 increase rate is only ~60% of the CO2 loading rate due to fossil fuel combustion. They develop a box-model to simulate the atmospheric CO2 increase during the industrial era and compare it to the historic observations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The model is then used to forecast future concentrations of atmospheric CO2 during the next century.

This NASA animation shows the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide over different time scales. Viewers can compare the last 400,000 years, last 1000 years, and last 25 years. The data come from the Lake Vostok ice cores (400,000 BC to about 4000 BC), Law Dome ice cores (1010 AD to 1975 AD) and Mauna Loa observations (1980 to 2005).

In this activity for undergraduate students, learners build a highly simplified computer model of thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean and conduct a set of simulation experiments to understand the complex dynamics inherent in this simple model.

In this 3-part lab activity, students investigate how carbon moves through the global carbon cycle and study the effects of specific feedback loops on the carbon cycle.

This visualization shows in five steps how ice cores provide a measure of the temperature in the past.

This video shows where and how ice cores are extracted from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The cores are cut, packaged, flown to the ice core storage facility in Denver, further sliced into samples, and shipped to labs all over the world where scientists use them to study indicators of climate change from the past.

This video provides a simple introduction to wind turbines and how they generate electricity.

In this activity, students create graphs of real temperature data to investigate climate trends by analyzing the global temperature record from 1867 to the present. Long-term trends and shorter-term fluctuations are both evaluated. The data is examined for evidence of the impact of natural and anthropogenic climate forcing mechanisms on the global surface temperature variability. Students are prompted to determine the difficulties scientists face in using this data to make climate predictions.

This animation depicts real-time wind speed and direction at selected heights above Earth's surface, ocean surface currents, and ocean surface temperatures and anomalies.

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