In this audio slideshow, an ecologist from the University of Florida describes the radiocarbon dating technique that scientists use to determine the amount of carbon within the permafrost of the Arctic tundra. Understanding the rate of carbon released as permafrost thaws is necessary to understand how this positive feedback mechanism is contributing to climate change that may further increase global surface temperatures.

This video addresses acidification of the ocean and the ecological and economic implications of the resulting pH change on marine life. It includes information about how ocean acidification resulting from increased absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere is affecting ocean species such as sea urchins and oysters. Scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara discuss their experiments with sea creatures in acidic sea water. There is an associated lesson plan and classroom activity that has students test the effects of CO2 on water pH.

This short activity provides a way to improve understanding of a frequently-published diagram of global carbon pools and fluxes. Students create a scaled 3-D visual of carbon reservoirs and the movement of carbon between reservoirs.

This interactive follows carbon as it moves through various components of the carbon cycle.

This activity introduces students to different forms of energy, energy transformations, energy storage, and the flow of energy through systems. Students learn that most energy can be traced back to nuclear fusion on the sun.

This hands-on activity is a kinesthetic game illustrating the dynamics of the carbon cycle. Acting as carbon atoms, students travel from one carbon reservoir to another. At each reservoir they determine, by rolling dice, how long they stay in the reservoir or how likely it is that they will move to another carbon reservoir.

In this experiment, students observe a natural process that removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from Earth's atmosphere. This process is a part of the carbon cycle and results in temperature suitable for life. Students learn that the carbon cycle is a fundamental Earth process. Throughout Earth's history, the balance of carbon has kept the atmosphere's carbon dioxide (CO2) and Earth's temperature within relatively narrow ranges.

This article and slide show from the New York Times, features several scientists from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who study the effects of thawing permafrost in Alaska.

In this experiment, students investigate the importance of carbon dioxide to the reproductive growth of a marine microalga, Dunalliela sp. (Note that the directions are for teachers and that students protocol sheets will need to be created by teachers.)

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.

Pages