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Lessons 2-1: Trends in Atmospheric Methane Concentrations


  • Time: 2 to 3 Class Periods

Learning Objectives

  • The student will use data from NASA/ICP climate research to identify trends in the rate of increase of global atmospheric concentration of methane and speculate on possible causes for those anges.

Primary NY State Science Content Standard

  • Average temperatures on Earth are the result of the total amount of insolation absorbed by the Earth's surface and its atmosphere and the amount of long-wave energy radiated back into space.

Primary NY State Skill Standards

  • The central purpose of scientific inquiry is to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing creative process.
  • Identifying patterns of change is necessary for making predictions about future behavior and condition.
  • The knowledge and skills of mathematics, science and technology are used together to make informed decisions and solve problems, especially those relating to issues of science / technology / society decision making, design and inquiry into phenomena.

Prerequisite Knowledge

  • Students should understand the "greenhouse effect." They should know what gases are involved in the Earth's atmospheric greenhouse effect and their relative abundance and contribution.
  • Students should be familiar with different forms of graphical representations.
  • Students should be able to put data into graphical form.
  • Students should also be able to obtain information from a graph and draw conclusions based on it.

Lesson Contents
Background. Motivation, Development