Posts Tagged ‘carbon cycle’

The greenhouse effect

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Greenhouse effect by e3000 on flickr

We all know a little about this important topic.  For our syllabus we must be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is the carbon cycle?  What are the main processes involved in it and how are they connected? The Carbon Cycle
  • What changes have taken place in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over the past century? Biology – Carbon Dioxide Level – Chenille & Hori
  • What gases contribute to the greenhouse effect?
  • What is the relationship between the levels of these gases and the enhanced greenhouse effect? GREENHOUSE GASES
  • What is the precautionary principle?
  • Is the precautionary principle valid when dealing with the greenhouse effect?
  • What are the potential consequences of global warming on arctic ecosystems?

Start with this presentation.  This link is helpful in explaining what the greenhouse effect is NOT.

Creativity with carbon

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Imagine you are a carbon atom in a molecule of carbon dioxide in the air.  Close your eyes.  Really imagine yourself as that carbon atom.  Your task is to describe the journey you take from being part of carbon dioxide in the air, through the carbon cycle, until you return to the air again.  Here is my attempt at the beginnings of such a story to give you the idea.  You do not need to start in this way.  You decide.  Get creative!  Let your imagination work!

There I was, happily floating around in my usual gaseous form along with several of my brothers and sisters  (other carbon dioxide molecules), and my good friends nitrogen and oxygen.  We were having a great time bumping into one another, when I got dangerously close to a leaf.  Everyone had always told me to stay away from green plants, that I could get sucked into a stoma and never be seen again.  Before I realized what was happening, I was inside a chloroplast and going through a very fast reaction where I had to let go of my two oxygen atoms, and for a moment be entirely alone.  Before long, I found some other carbons and we joined together, 6 of us, 12 hydrogen friends and 6 oxygen buddies to form a glucose molecule….

Carbon cycle

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Electric by johnb/uk

We’re going to try and connect all that we have been learning – respiration, combustion, photosynthesis, food chains – into one big carbon cycle. This brainpop video will help get you started.  

This one on fossil fuels explains where oil, coal and gas come from, and leads into our next section on the importance of oil and how to separate it out by distillation.  This video explains how this works in an oil refinery. We’ll do a world energy audit and look at where the natural resources are and what the alternative energy sources might be.

Creativity with Carbon

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Imagine you are a carbon atom in a molecule of carbon dioxide in the air.  Close your eyes.  Really imagine yourself as that carbon atom.  Your task is to describe the journey you take from being part of carbon dioxide in the air, through the carbon cycle, until you return to the air again.  Here is my attempt at the beginnings of such a story to give you the idea.  You do not need to start in this way.  You decide.  Get creative!  Let your imagination work!

There I was, happily floating around in my usual gaseous form along with several of my brothers and sisters  (other carbon dioxide molecules), and my good friends nitrogen and oxygen.  We were having a great time bumping into one another, when I got dangerously close to a leaf.  Everyone had always told me to stay away from green plants, that I could get sucked into a stoma and never be seen again.  Before I realized what was happening, I was inside a chloroplast and going through a very fast reaction where I had to let go of my two oxygen atoms, and for a moment be entirely alone.  Before long, I found some other carbons and we joined together, 6 of us, 12 hydrogen friends and 6 oxygen buddies to form a glucose molecule….

Carbon cycle

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
Nature by jaxxon on flickr

Nature by jaxxon on flickr

We’re going to try and connect all that we have been learning – respiration, combustion, photosynthesis, food chains – into one big carbon cycle. This brainpop video will help get you started.  

This one on fossil fuels explains where oil, coal and gas come from, and leads into our next section on the importance of oil and how to separate it out by distillation.  This video explains how this works in an oil refinery. We’ll do a world energy audit and look at where the natural resources are and what the alternative energy sources might be.