HES Lesson 6 Background Information

Three-dimensional Learning Progression

In Lesson 4 students studied global CO2 fluxes changed atmospheric CO2 concentrations, including the key role of the human-caused flux from burning fossil fuels. In Lesson 5 the studied human technological systems and activities and how they contribute to the unbalanced fossil fuel flux. In Lesson 6, they return to the global scale, considering how this unbalanced flux affects other aspects of Earth systems, such global temperatures, sea level, and Arctic sea ice. They use computer models to map out different scenarios for the future, studying how the future of the planet will depend on humans’ activities and decisions. Our goal is to help students see how those models are grounded in the scientific models and principles that they have studied, and to appreciate both the power and the limits of those models.