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Database Provider

Author

NASA

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Data

Regional Focus

Global

Carbon Dioxide

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Synopsis
  • NASA's Vital Signs resource on carbon dioxide presents an interactive CO2 chart from 2005 to present, a graph of CO2 dating back 800,000 years, and an animation of global CO2 levels between 2002 and 2016. 
  • There are links to more information provided and the graphs can be downloaded. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Students can see the level of carbon dioxide increase over time and see where it tends to increase geographically.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know how to read a graph.

Differentiation

  • Advanced students could investigate the reasons for carbon dioxide levels fluctuating so drastically in the Northern Hemisphere as compared to the Southern Hemisphere.
  • This is a great resource for lessons about photosynthesis, the carbon cycle, nutrient cycling, weather, Earth's tilt and seasons, Earth's orbit around the sun, or climate change.
  • Any class could use this resource for fact-checking, research, or data analysis.
  • Other resources about this topic include this table of solutions to climate change, this interactive data resource, this lesson, and this video
Scientist Notes
This resource, updated monthly, shows the continued increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Importantly, it puts the recent increases in context of a longer time-scale, thanks to ice-core records from Antarctica. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
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