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Human Energy Systems | Activity 4.5

Optional Activity 4.5: Effects of Seasons and Oceans (50 min)

In this optional activity students use Internet resources to (a) explain the different seasonal patterns of CO2 concentrations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and (b) use a global cycling model that includes additional pools and fluxes to predict the effects of changing human use of fossil fuels.

Materials You Provide

Resources Provided

Recurring Resources


Prepare one copy of 4.5 Seasons and Oceans Worksheet and one copy of Big Idea Probe: What Would Happen if We Cut Fossil Fuel Use in Half for each student. Prepare a computer and projector for the film and 4.5 Seasons & Oceans PPT. You may want to open the videos ahead of time on your computer as they will be shown during this lesson. Make sure students have their Learning Tracking Tool available for the end of the lesson.


1. Introduce the Activity.

Display Slide 2 of the 4.5 Seasons & Oceans PPT to show students where they are in the instructional sequence.


This activity includes opportunities for both formative and summative assessment.


Watch the Pumphandle video a few times to allow students to ask questions and to check for comprehension of the many different components of the video.

Extending the Learning

Have students investigate the effects of ocean acidification:

Discuss other information that students have seen about global carbon cycling and climate change in the media, and how it compares with what they have worked with in this lesson.