This app explores global warming by providing a simple simulation of the accumulation of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Students can change the parameters of the simulation to explore what could be done to slow or even stop global warming.
The app is designed to be used in a classroom where the science of global warming can be discussed. The simulation assumes that global warming is caused by the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and that this increase is a direct result of the burning of fossil fuels.
This app is not a climate simulation; that would require a supercomputer, massive amounts of data and processing time.
The simulation uses the changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the last 20 years to project those changes into the future to 2100. If the rate of change over the last 20 years continues unchanged, then carbon dioxide will continue to accumulate in the atmosphere causing the planet to warm and sea levels to rise.
Controls provide settings that allow you to simulate the result of changing the sources of energy production. Increasing the use of green energy and burning less fossil fuel will slow the warming of the planet. Energy conservation and carbon capture are also settings that can be controlled for each simulation.
The default scenario for the settings is a "do nothing" scenario. If we do nothing to mitigate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the planet will continue to warm to at least 2C and possibly over 3C by the year 2100.
To illustrate the consequences of global warming, popups will display "tipping points" and other consequences that may occur as a result of global warming.
Climate change is real and global warming is happening now. However, it is a complex subject that is difficult to get your head around. Hopefully this app will encourage you to explore the subject in depth and do what you can to mitigate the consequences.
Grade Levels: 6 and up
Next Generation Science Standards
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate
ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
ESS3.D: Global Climate Change
Science and Engineering Practice 4: Analyzing and Interpreting Data