Students need a basic understanding of Earth’s energy budget, basically understanding that the amount of energy coming into our atmosphere must equal the amount of energy exiting our atmosphere. Make sure students utilize their science notebook when communicating about the topic, making observations, and brainstorming.
Go to NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch: Satellite Coral Bleaching Monitoring Datasets page. Download the most recent package for Google Earth. Since episode 3 deals with the birthplace of El Niño events, that will be the location students will analyze.
Have students investigate globalforestwatch.org, particularly the scrolling stats across the home page screen. Students may want to continue taking a few notes as this lesson will require them to retrieve and analyze data.
Ask students about forensics shows on TV.
- What are some facts the investigators might collect?
- What are some opinions the investigators might run in to?
- What kinds of evidence are used to prove a case?
- What kinds of evidence are the most credible?
- How are credible sources determined?
- What types of primary and secondary sources are utilized in an efforts to solve the case?
Students will use an interactive carbon cycle game to refresh their understanding of the carbon cycle and add to their body of knowledge about carbon throughout the earth system.