These activities reveal the impact of human activity on climate change and suggest how we can grow plants in a way that helps to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Using biodegradable seedling pots is one way we can recycle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfills. Students learn about plant structures and their functions, and how their small actions can reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with global climate change. Students also investigate and explore the implications of the greenhouse effect.
LIST OF ACTIVITIES
- Describe the structure of seedlings and plants.
- Connect plant structures to their functions.
- Collect and display data.
- Understand the connection between human activities and the carbon cycle.
- Understand the role of greenhouse gases and how they contribute to climate change.
Carbon is recycled and reused among living things on the surface of the earth and the atmosphere surrounding the earth. This is a natural cycle known as the carbon cycle.
In the atmosphere, carbon is present as carbon dioxide and methane as part of a layer of gases called greenhouse gases (GHGs). Other gases present in the greenhouse gas layer include water vapour and ozone. Carbon dioxide and methane are normally produced by plants and animals.
We need greenhouse gases to trap heat and help keep us warm on Earth. This is what we call the natural greenhouse effect. Without the natural greenhouse effect, heat from the sun would be radiated into space and lost, and the temperature at the surface of the earth would be much cooler.
However, human activity adds a lot more carbon-based greenhouse gases to our atmosphere, and as a result the greenhouse gas layer is getting thicker. This thicker layer of greenhouse gases acts like a glass jar, trapping heat before it can be radiated back into space. This is called the enhanced greenhouse effect. It results in an increase in atmospheric temperature and is contributing to global climate change.
One method of reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is by planting trees and other plants. When plants grow, they take some carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. This is sometimes called "capturing carbon" because the carbon from the carbon dioxide is "captured" and then stored by the plant.