Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students either work independently or in groups to research the role that oceans have to play in the carbon cycle, and how our oceans might be affected by climate change. Students will draw their own carbon cycle and then revisit the diagram after engaging in several further research activities. Parts of this activity are adapted from: oceanlink.info.

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise the role of the oceans in the carbon cycle.
  • Students understand the risks to the oceans from the climate change and the greenhouse effect.
  • Students understand what is meant by the term ‘ocean acidification’.
  • Students recognise the acidification of our oceans as one of the most significant environmental challenges we will have to face.
  • Students recognise that it won’t just be marine species and ecosystems that are impacted; humans will also be affected by ocean acidification.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 10 Science

  • Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS208)

Year 10 Geography

  • The human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)
  • The application of human-environment systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental change being investigated (ACHGK073)
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose, using relevant geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS079)

Syllabus OutcomesGE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-8SC5-9WS, SC5-12ES

Topic: Climate change

Time required: 120 mins 

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity

Resources required: Internet and computer access, student worksheet, infographic creation tool (e.g. Piktochart).

Digital technology opportunities: Infographic tool, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity includes opportunities for homework or extension.

Keywords: Ocean acidification, climate change, carbon cycle.

 Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Students recognise the role of the oceans in the carbon cycle. They begin to understand the risks to the oceans from the climate change and the greenhouse effect and learn what is meant by the term 'ocean acidification'. Students understand that the acidification of our oceans is one of the most significant environmental challenges we will have to face, and that it won't just be marine species and ecosystems that are impacted; humans will also be affected by ocean acidification. Parts of this activity adapted from: oceanlink.info.

Teacher content information: Climate change is predicted to have a range of effects on our environment, some barely noticeable, others devastating. One of those predicted devastating effects is the impact on our oceans.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the oceans are exchanged at the surface layer between these two environments. When the concentration in the atmosphere increases, the ocean takes in much o

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Where can you find carbon?

1. What is the carbon cycle? - Click here to download the worksheet on the carbon cycle or create your own.

 

2. What is ocean acidification? - Watch the clip below to learn more about ocean acidification.

ACID TEST: 3 Minute Science of Ocean Acidification https://vimeo.com/8990924

 

3. Create the new carbon cycle - Work in groups to create a diagram or infographic called "The new carbon cycle - more carbon, big problems". This should be a more comprehensive version of the carbon cycle that incorporates that facts about ocean acidification and its impacts.

 

4. Reflections - answer the following questions about this activity.

Briefly describe the carbon cycle and how it moves through the biosphere (including the four subsystems that interact to make up the carbon cycle):

 

Briefly describe the process of ocean acidification:

 

Briefly describe some of the consequences of ocean acidification on the natural environment and on

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