Activity Introduction

plants-skyQuick summary: Students explore the cause and effect of CFCs being released into our atmosphere, and how a global agreement – the Montreal Protocol – helped to reduce these emissions and (hopefully) stopped the spread of the thinning ozone. Student begin by graphing the average size of ozone thinning for the past 34 years, and then calculate the average amount the ozone has reduced since 2000. Students are then asked to compare CFCs and CO2, and to participate in a debate around the pros and cons of using the Montreal Protocol as a model for managing CO2 emissions.

These activities “… are an invaluable tool for teachers to address climate change in an educationally relevant, scientifically sound, and action-­based way.” – Tim Flannery (Read more)

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise similarities between CFCs and CO2, and the differences in how humanity has responded to their human induced abundance in the atmosphere.
  • Students understand the effects of the Montreal Protocol on CFC emissions and consider what the pros and cons are for using this as a model for managing CO2 emissions.
  • Students understand whole numbers, graphing and calculating averages.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Numeracy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 10 Science

  • Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
  • Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (ACSHE192)
  • The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE230)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-15LW, SC5-11PW, SC5-12ES.

Topic: We Are the Weather Makers

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Oversee activity and facilitate discussion

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheets.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Key reading from We Are the Weather Makers: Chapter 22 – The Story of Ozone

Further reading from the book: Chapter 23 – The Road to Kyoto

Keywords: Ozone layer, hole in the ozone layer, Montreal Protocol, CFCs, CO2.

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

Cool Australia would like to acknowledge:

  • Tim Flannery
  • David Harding, Rose Iser, Sally Stevens
  • Text Publishing and Purves Environmental Fund
  • Climate Council
climate-council-logo textlogo_type purves_environ

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

sunTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students recognise similarities between CFCs and CO2, and the differences in how humanity has responded to their human induced abundance in the atmosphere. Students will also understand the effects of the Montreal Protocol on CFC emissions and consider what the possibilities and barriers are for using this as a model for managing CO2 emissions.

Teacher content information: The ozone layer is the layer of upper atmosphere, from 15 to 35km above the Earth’s surface. If all of the ozone were compressed to the pressure of the air at sea level, it would be a few millimetres thick. This fragile blanket protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and allows life to exist on Earth’s surface.

Two scientists from the University of California, Molina and Rowland, published a paper in 1974 proving the link between chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and ozone depletion. CFCs were widely used in air conditioning, as ref

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How much sun is too much?

ozone-1

Part 1. This link from NASA contains the data from the Ozone Hole Watch Program, and outlines the average size of the thinning of the ozone layer from 1979 to 2013. Using the information on the Mean Ozone Hole Area (right-hand side of screen) create a graph using Piktochart that shows how the size of the ozone has changed over the last 34 years (ensure you pick the best chart to represent this data).

 

Part 2. Recent studies suggest that the thinning of the ozone layer has stabilized and could even be starting to repair itself. Assuming that the spread of the thinning in the ozone has indeed peaked - at 27.5 million kilometers - calculate the average amount the ozone has reduced since 2000, and based on this calculation how long it will take to repair itself.

The average amount the ozone has reduced since 2000:

How long it will take to repair itself:

 

Part 3. The Montreal Protocol was signed by a number of countries in 1987. Assumi

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