In this activity, students create a 3-D visual of global carbon pools and net fluxes between pools with anthropogenic influences. Students work in teams of 2-4 to complete the activity. On day one, students discuss carbon pools and forms of carbon, are introduced to gigatonne units, model carbon pool sizes, and identify carbon fluxes. On day two, students calculate dynamic equilibrium and net flux rates, discuss net flux rates, calculate net flux into the atmosphere, discuss implications for climate change, and brainstorm and model mitigation strategies.
The time needed to complete this activity is suggested as two days. Teachers will need to have supplies such as petri dishes, poker chips, bingo chips, and a bag. An alternate version using paper to represent carbon pools is also provided.