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Human Impacts
on the Carbon
- Global warming/ climate change
- Ocean Acidification
- Ethics global patterns of CO2 use
- Ideas for mitigating impacts
Global warming, Greenhouse effect & Climate Change
Warm up:
What do you know already/ have previously learned about the terms above?
Carbon videos continued:
Episode 3
Energy is___________________ when carbon bonds are ______________ & the carbon atoms
find a new ___________________.
Humans can break carbons bonds (and thus release energy) by…
Episode 4
When carbon bonds are broken, carbon especially likes to pair with _______________;
creating the molecule __________
CO2 is connected with the Earth getting warmer because….
Greenhouse effect 101 video…
Answer the following questions:
1. Over the Earth’s billions of years, the temperature ________________ between ice ages to
warmer periods. But over the last century, the temperature has risen unusually fast, up by
__________ degrees F.
2.The greenhouse effect begins with the _____________.
Some energy from the sun is absorbed by the__________________ and the _____________.
The rest is radiated ___________________________________.
3. Atmospheric gases trap some of the energy, redirecting it ______________________.
4. The greenhouse effect is being intensified by humans because we release
This is resulting in a phenomenon known as ________________ ________________.
5. Evidence for the global warming is:
6. Researchers predict global temperature will rise by ______________________ by the end
of this century.
7. Some possible effects of global warming are:
For each video, summarize the possible impacts of climate change
Loss of species: Pikas
Melting glaciers: Mt. Rainier
Current Events Research:
 Find an article, video, etc. that explains a possible impact of climate change locally or
around the world.
 Summarize your findings below.
 Be sure to document the source - either cut out and bring in, or get the URL for the
Special Case Study: Ocean acidification and eggshells
In this activity, students observe chicken eggs to model/ simulate the potential effects of
increasing ocean acidity on marine animals with calcium carbonate shells or skeletons, for
example: barnacles and oysters.
 Understand the cause of ocean acidification and the possible impacts on shelled marine
 Investigate the effects of solutions of varying pH on eggshells.
As we saw in the equilibrium lab, when CO2 mixes with water it forms a weak acid (carbonic
acid). The chemical equation can be seen below:
CO2 (carbon dioxide) + H2O (water)  H2CO3 (carbonic acid).
The world’s oceans currently absorb as much as one-third of all CO2 emissions in our
atmosphere. There is scientific evidence that suggests that there is now so much CO2 in the
atmosphere that the oceans are becoming more acidic. The acidity of the ocean varies from
place to place, but the average acidity in many places has increased by a measurable amount.
This could have significant impacts on life in the sea.
For example, many marine species rely on calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to build a shell or
skeleton. Notice that H2CO3 (carbonic acid) and CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) are very similar!
They both contain the molecule called “carbonate”. One has 2 hydrogen atoms attached to
the molecule, and one has a calcium atom attached to the molecule.
One of the effects of increasing acidity is a reduction in the availability of carbonate. This
means that any animal that produces a calcium carbonate shell or skeleton will find it much
more difficult to do so. Organisms could grow more slowly, their shells could become thinner,
or they might dispense with shells altogether. It is difficult to predict the overall impact on the
marine ecosystem, but many scientists fear that ocean acidification has the potential to
decrease marine biodiversity on a very large scale.
pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The pH scale goes from 1 to 14. .
Pure water is said to be neutral (7.0, right in the middle of the scale). The closer to 1 on the
pH scale, the more acidic something is. The closer to 14, the more alkaline, (or basic)
something is. The scale is logarithmic. This means that each whole pH value is 10 times
more acidic or basic than the next whole pH value. If there’s a difference between 2 whole
numbers, then the substance is 100 times more acidic or basic!
A typical chicken eggshell consists of about 94–97% calcium carbonate; this experiment uses
chicken eggs to simulate/model the potential effects of acidity on marine animals. As with
shelled marine animals, eggshells vary between different species and vulnerability to acidity
will vary with shape, thickness, structure, etc.
Ocean Acidification video clip
1. Before watching: Make a list of all the marine animals you can think of that have shells or
skeletons. You will add to this list after you share out your ideas in class.
As you are watching:
2. What is/was the pH of ocean
a. before humans began adding CO2 to the atmosphere: _________
b. currently: ________
i. this is a ______ fold decrease in pH (or increase in acidity)
c. that will prevent organisms from ‘calcifying’: __________
i. when do scientists forecast this may happen if current rates of carbon
emissions continue? ____________
After watching:
3. Predict: what do you think might happen to organisms that rely on shells (like oysters and
snails) if the water continues to become more acidic?
Ocean acidification class activity
Carefully observe the eggs that have been soaked in vinegar (an acid), baking soda (alkaline)
and sea water (control).
Analysis questions
1. Write observations about the eggs within the 3 different solutions
2. Modeling: What do the vinegar and baking soda solutions represent?
3. Predict: how do you think ocean acidification might affect marine animals with shells/
skeletons? Explain using evidence from your observations of the eggs.
4. Connect to prior learning: How do you think ocean acidification might affect the
marine food web?
5. Producers that live in the oceans (like algae and seaweed) absorb more CO2 than rain
forests. What might be a consequence for ALL ecosystems if these populations collapse?
Rewrite the labels below, so one
sentence gives the main idea
from the label. Insert this new
sentence into the correct place
on the greenhouse effect