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Why is carbon di oxide a greenhouse gas

Lubna Naseem
Critical thinking, Problem Solving
Remember, Understand, Application, Analysis
Why is carbon di oxide a greenhouse gas
Objective 1: This activity aims to teach students about the thermal properties of carbon dioxide – the properties that make it a greenhouse gas.Objective 2: Students will identify the factors that have influenced global climate in the past.They will review the greenhouse effect and its influence on climate, identify major greenhouse gases and their atmospheric percentages, and understand why carbon dioxide is considered the greenhouse gas most responsible for contemporary global warming.Objective 3: Students will define and identify different types of fossil fuels, industrial sources of carbon dioxide and changes in carbon dioxide concentrations since the industry era.Objective 4: Students will understand the correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and average global temperature.Objective 5: Students will analyze and evaluate conflicting information about CO2 and global warming.Objective 6: Students will learn strategies for evaluating scientific claims made in the media
Making students understand how CO2 leads to the cause of global warming and rise in temperature of the atmosphere
Science Lab Access-
Two external temperature probes or thermometers (0°C-100°C range) if data loggers and PC are not available
Two 2-litre plastic pop bottles
Two clamp stands, bosses and clamps
Carbon dioxide eg from a Soda Stream
Two heat lamps or flexible spot lights (at least 60 W)
Graph for plotting the data

Steps for Activity and Preparation:

1. Prepare plastic pop bottles by removing the labels and drilling holes in the tops big enough to allow the temperature probes or thermometers to pass through
2. Set up clamp stands and heat lamps as shown in Figure above
3. Fill one of the bottles with carbon dioxide, screw the top on (with temperature probe / thermometer in place) and plug any gaps with Plasticine™.
4. Prepare the other bottle full of air by screwing on the top (with temperature probe / thermometer in place) and plug any gaps with Plasticine™.
5. Monitor the temperatures of both bottles until they are approximately the same. At this point switch on the heat lamps and start the recording.
6. After 20 minutes switch the heat lamps off but continue recording the temperatures for a further 20 minutes
7. Plot a graph of temperature against time for each bottle and compare the two results.

Global warming experiment setup

Do not place the light bulbs too close to the plastic bottles as they will melt Typical results after experiment

Human causes of global warming: emissions by sector
After the results have been plotted, as a teacher we need to ask the students questions which will make them think and analyze the results beyond.
1. The results show that there has been a moderate increase in the temperature of CO2 bottle, what do you think is happening when CO2 is being released in the environment.
2. CO2 has been there in atmosphere since inception and plants and all living organisms are releasing CO2 but there has been never a threat to global warming before, but in last 50-70 years.
we have been seeing a constant cry by scientist on global warming. Why do you think its accelerated in these last 50-70 years.
3. What will be the effect on the Earth of increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
Its these kind of questions when asked to students will help them to evaluate their actions and also prompt them to find new ways of tackling the problem.
Accurate, Clearly explained, Complete, Knowledgeable, Methodical, Well crafted/ articulated

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