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OCO-2 Launch - Why Study Carbon Dioxide?
Created by Morgan Woroner Last updated 7/3/2014
Scheduled to launch on July 1, 2014, Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 will map carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere from space. But why do we study carbon dioxide at all? These resources help to answer that question.
- This recent article from NASA's Earth Observatory covers the study of Earth's atmosphere using remote sensing, and provides imagery of pollution visible from space.
- This recent article covers new NASA satellite images illustrating the reduction of air pollution in the United States between 2005 and 2011.
- This blog post covers the hows of launching a NASA mission into space, as well as some interesting facts about OCO-2 and carbon dioxide.
- Demo (Elementary): A balloon with baking soda is stretched over the mouth of a bottle containing vinegar. When the baking soda is tipped into the balloon, the reaction creates carbon dioxide, causing the balloon to inflate.AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E4
- Article (Elementary / Middle School): Students learn about the units of measurement used when studying concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere and why we study this gas in the first place.AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M15
- Problem Set (Middle School): Students are asked to analyze a graph of carbon dioxide concentration in the last 400,000 years and consider the rise in carbon dioxide over the last 150 years.
- Reading (High School): This textbook chapter describes the properties of greenhouse gases that are being added to the atmosphere: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone.AAAS Benchmarks: 8C/M11
- Reading (High School): In this textbook chapter, students learn more about scientists studying carbon dioxide and the techniques they use to gather data. Links are included to video interviews.AAAS Benchmarks: 1B/M1b
- Reading (High School): In this textbook chapter, students learn about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and how historical data present evidence that human sources have contributed to an increase in CO2 levels in Earth's atmosphere.AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M15
- Activity (High School): Through a digital interactive, students identify human sources of carbon dioxide and their contribution to carbon enrichment of the atmosphere.
- Problem Set (High School): Students will compare the carbon dioxide produced as a result of the Eyjafjalla Volcano eruption and burning of oil from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
- Activity (Gr. 10-12): Students will examine the relationship between carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and chlorophyll-a measurements in a watershed, using Excel plots created using NASA data.