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The importance of rainforests to Earth's biodiversity, climate and production of rainforest products is discussed in this textbook chapter. Includes an interview with an Amazonian rainforest scientist, a discussion of the competing perspectives of... (View More)

In this textbook chapter, scientists studying the concentration of becomes CO² in the atmosphere are profiled. The techniques for measuring and recording carbon dioxide concentrations at the Mauna Loa Observatory are described. A link to a video... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students analyze a 2011 article by physicist Dr. Richard Muller addressing the climate change skeptic's claim that the scientific data used to support global warming is poor or unreliable. He headed a two-year study where his... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This activity uses an episode of poor air quality over the Midwest and Eastern seaboard to engage students in an exploration of the collection, comparison, analysis and utilization of air quality data. With the aid of a camera, the EPA website and... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This textbook chapter presents several biodiversity case studies, including a study of prairie soil, the 1930's Dustbowl, and the importance of soil conservation practices. The resource includes a link to current news articles and a teacher's guide.... (View More)

This textbook chapter reviews the scientific evidence for global warming, presents proxy climate data, and discusses the increase in scientific knowledge as evidenced in the series of IPCC reports since 1990. The likelihood of a globe with doubled... (View More)

This textbook chapter presents a real case study involving the the logging of an old stand forest from three perspectives, that of the environmentalists, the wood products industry, and a politician. An associated writing activity engages students... (View More)

This textbook chapter introduces Earth’s external energy source, and the nuclear fusion reactions that power the Sun, space weather and space storms. There is an interview with solar scientist, Dr. Janet Luhmann, UC-Berkeley. The resource includes... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students use image analysis software to determine the percent loss of old growth forests over time by analyzing a time series of 4 forest maps of the U.S. Software is available on the Global System Science Website. A manual... (View More)

Readings in this chapter guide student reflection on sustainability of the planet, and whether the Earth system is near a tipping point, where ecosystems will reorganize and seek a new equilibrium, with consequences for biodiversity. The resource... (View More)