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Carbon Sequestration and Climate Change from MIT's TILclimate

Grade Level Grades 9-12, Higher Education
Resource Type Activity
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards, State-specific


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Carbon dioxide is increasing in Earth’s atmosphere as we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. While technology is growing that can remove CO2 from the air, it is an engineering challenge. Students model the challenge of carbon capture and graph the historic rise in carbon dioxide as observed at Mauna Loa, Hawai’i.


  • Briefly explain some reasons for increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • Understand that carbon capture technology is difficult to develop in part because the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is very low.
  • Demonstrate that carbon dioxide has been rising in Earth’s atmosphere since at least the 1950s. 


  • Create and/or interpret data via a line graph
  • Communicate scientific information



TILclimate Removing CO2 Educator Guide FULL.pdf

September 24, 2021
0.6 MB
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How to Use TILclimate Educator Guides.pdf

September 24, 2021
0.3 MB
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Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
Represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots, histograms, and box plots).
Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.


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