This toolkit was designed to support educators in teaching the fundamental scientific concepts of climate change. A significant challenge to teaching climate change lies in the abstract nature of the most basic concepts underlying climate science. For instance, the intangible nature of greenhouse gases makes it difficult for students to conceive of their existence and increasing abundances. Recent trends in greenhouse gas concentrations are well understood due to ongoing, accurate and precise measurements around the globe, yet the certainty and relevancy behind this science is still misconceived by the general public.
The Basics on the Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Effect will introduce students to the current scientific understanding on these concepts. With this preliminary knowledge, students will follow the Student Activity Guide on the Carbon Cycle, which leads them through several interactive tasks investigating recent trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Students receive a comprehensive lesson in which they must analyze scientific data and use scientific reasoning to determine the causes responsible for these recent trends. By studying carbon cycle science in a visual and interactive manner, this toolkit provides students with a conceptual framework with which to address the challenges of a changing climate.Carbon Cycle Toolkit