This video segment from the PBS NOVA program 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' explores how we know that today’s increased levels of CO2 are caused by humans burning fossil fuels and not by some natural process, such as volcanic out-gassing. Climate scientist Richard Alley provides a detailed step-by-step explanation that examines the physics and chemistry of different “flavors” or isotopes of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere.
Following suggestions are by CLEAN reviewers:
- Use to start a discussion or unit on the misconception that volcanoes emit more CO2 into the atmosphere than human activities.
- Additional resources from this program are available here: http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/
- If needed, students can review fossil fuel formation in segment 3 of this same set of resources.
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
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TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
Assessment is at the discretion of the educator and how this video is applied.