Activity Introduction

Quick Summary: Students will investigate the state of the carbon budget designed to reduce emission by 2050. Given the budget and the percentage of emissions used between 2000-2013 students will calculate the rate of use, consider effects of percentage increases and decreases in emission rates for the remaining time frame and the anomalies between scientists and their own predictions. Students will then have the opportunity to use the skills applied through the worksheet the create their own plan for the reduction of emission.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand how to change quantities to percentages and how to calculate percentage increase and decrease.
  • Students discover the impact of small and large percentage increase and decrease in carbon emissions and the effect of average rates emissions over time.

21st century skills:

carbon budget skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 8 Mathematics:

  • Solve problems involving the use of percentages, including percentage increases and decreases, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA187)
  • Solve a range of problems involving rates and ratios, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA188)

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.3.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Mathematics achievement standards: Students solve everyday problems involving rates, ratios and percentages.

Topic: Number and Algebra, Number and Place Value, Climate Change.

Time required: 60 min

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher may need to demonstrate some calculations. Eg percentages of quantities, increasing/decreasing by a percent.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Calculator, Overspending our carbon budget, Global carbon budget.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Students create a budget to reduce carbon emission to zero by 2050 decreasing rates of emissions by a certain percent over their chosen time frames.

Key words: Percentage, rate, fraction, carbon budget, climate change, carbon emissions

Cool Australia acknowledges the contribution of The Commonwealth and Climate Commission. 

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: In this lesson students will understand how to change quantities to percentages and how to calculate percentage increase and decreases. They will discover the impact of small and large percentage increase and decrease in carbon emissions and the effect of average rates emissions over time. With both of these ideas in mind students can then consider how carbon emission can be reduced over time.

Teacher content information:

'Scientific observations confirm that the climate is changing, and changing at a very fast rate compared to the slow, natural swings in climate over geological time periods. The ocean and the air are heating up, rainfall patterns are changing, the area of Arctic sea ice is decreasing, the large polar ice sheets are losing mass, sea level is rising and the distributions and life cycles of many plants and animals are changing' - (The Critical Decade 2013: A summary of climate change science, risks and res

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Student Worksheet

Thought starters: Have you thought about what the carbon emission might be for sending a text message?

Critical Choices in the Critical Decade http://vimeo.com/79266486

Lots of the things we take for granted everyday produce CO2 - even sending a text massage has a carbon footprint. For this reason a Global Carbon Budget has been established. Scientists have estimated that we can emit no more than 1,000 billion tonnes of CO2 between 2000 and 2050. This will ensure our global temperature does not increase by 20C, which is the threshold we should not cross. This means from 2000-2050 we have a budget of no more than 1,000 billion tonnes of CO2. Given that we have spent 40% of this budget in the just 13 years, we have 60% to go… but it has to last 37 years! In 2013 we are on track to BLOW our budget by 2028 - but there are many things we can do to stop this. 

Using the information you have on the carbon budget answer the following questions:
Note: write your answers to t

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