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In this introductory textbook chapter, students learn that life on Earth would not be possible without the atmosphere and its greenhouse effect. The history of research on the role of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is presented, and the concept... (View More)

This textbook chapter makes the case for preserving desert old growth forests, and endangered species. The captive breeding program for the black-footed ferret is presented as a case study. Students learn about conservation practices they can do,... (View More)

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

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)

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)

In this textbook chapter, students examine the data from Mauna Loa to see that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing. The seasonal signal observed in the data is explained by the growth cycle of plants in the Northern... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this case study, students read about the Canopy Crane at Wind River, a project that enables the study of Earth system interactions that take place high in the tree canopy. The chapter profiles scientists, studying birds, fungi, chemical transfer... (View More)

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