In the Industrial Revolution, people started engaging in many activities that use fossil fuels. Using fossil fuels takes carbon out of the ground and burning it puts CO2 into the atmosphere. When there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere, it makes the atmosphere warmer by trapping heat. Since humans are adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, that helps explain why temperatures are increasing around the world. The increase in the burning of fossil fuels and other activities by human beings in the last 200+ years are contributing to temperature increases by releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.
Context for Use
In this lesson, students learn how more CO2 in the atmosphere causes global warming.
What Students Will Do
- Plan and carry out an investigation in which students identify variables, tools needed, and data needed to model whether an increase in CO2 in the air can cause an increase in air temperature.
- Understand that In the Industrial Revolution, people started engaging in many activities that use fossil fuels. Also, that using fossil fuels takes carbon out of the ground and burning it puts CO2 into the atmosphere.
- (10 minutes) Consensus Building Discussion: Reorient students in the story line.
- (10 minutes) Sharing Initial Ideas Discussion: Generate ideas for today’s lesson.
- (5 min) Design: Come up with some initial ideas for how to construct such a fair test to see whether CO2 really could be the cause of an increase in air temperature.
- (25 minutes) Develop: Work in small groups to develop their investigation plans.
- (25 minutes) Conduct: Students carry out their investigation plan.
- (15 minutes) Building Understanding Discussion: Debrief on the investigation.
- (10 minutes) Consensus Building Discussion: Watch the short videos What does Carbon Dioxide Have to Do with Global Warming? and Climate Change Basics and discuss.