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Human Energy Systems | Activity 6.2

Activity 6.2: Extreme Makeover: Lifestyle Edition (25 min)

Students visit four stations representing four lifestyle sectors, choose a lifestyle preference for each sector, and calculate the CO2 emissions associated with their lifestyle choices.

Resources Provided


Prepare a computer with a projector to display the model at


1. Introduce the Very, Very Simple Climate model.

Prepare a computer with a projector to display the Very, Very Simple Climate model at

  • Tell students that in this model, average global temperature is determined entirely by the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and its effect on temperature (the greenhouse effect). The model is based on the simple mathematical relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration and average global temperature, which states that temperature rises about 3°C each time atmospheric CO2 doubles.
  • Show students how to change the CO2 emissions by moving the slider and demonstrate how to run the model by clicking “step forward” or “play” at the top.


Use students’ responses to the questions on the worksheet to assess their understanding of the effect of CO2 emissions on atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures.