CarboSchools – Modelling (Sharing Experiments continues)

søndag 3 mai 2009, kl. 1:03 | Publisert i Konferanser og kurs | Legg igjen en kommentar
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Marc Jamous – Regional Coordinator in France – Predicting CO2 scenarios through models


1958 was the first year that the total amount of atmospheric CO2 was measured, which is the reason for the start year for this simplistic model. In this model you start by the total amount of atmospheric CO2, and after that you add fuel emission and land use.

imageThe first step is to add the emissions to the atmospheric amount. The second step would be to compare the measured and the calculated CO2 data. The students will then see that there in a gap between the measured and calculated values – CO2 must be absorbed somewhere else then in the atmosphere.


The next step is to find a suitable value for the natural absorption, as a percentage of the emissions.

This is a great introduction to climate modelling as a discussion theme with our students.

Further on it would be possible to split natural absorption in absorption by the ocean and absorption by the vegetation.

After making this model, it is now possible to include the prediction scenarios from the IPCC reports to calculate model results. It is also possible to get the students to make their own scenarios.

Camparison between the pessimistic and optimistic scenarios:


My concluding remarks: This was an easy but fantastic way of introducing the principles of climate modelling! I look forward to try this with my own students next year 🙂 I also want to thank Marc for sharing his files with us.

CarboSchools – SchoolsCO2web (Sharing Experiments continues)

lørdag 2 mai 2009, kl. 23:04 | Publisert i Konferanser og kurs | 1 kommentar
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Through the CarboSchools collaboration there is made a website – SchoolCO2web.

Mirko (Germany): Collecting, analysing and showing CarboSchools data to the public

Mirko is teaching computer science and has used a weather station in the CarboSchools project. His students has worked on making a webpage with PHP and MySQL technology where they are displaying, analyzing and processing data from the weather station. The students has made a user platform and plotting functions.

They’ve used a Vaisala weather station, it looks like a Davis weather station, maybe it is possible to connect the weather station we’ve bought in my school? Connection to CO2net program.

The data needs to be sent via a ftp-server I need to check this with the ICT department in my school, if we have that possibility.

The goal was to publish the important data, and to visualize them in a sensible way. Other schools are invited to comtribute with their data.

Menno (Netherlands): Downloading and Analysing data from the SchoolCO2-Web

Menno is a regional coordinator in the TSP and/or CarboSchools in the Netherlands. He showed us how we can use the SchoolCO2web. For instance if you plot the CO2 levels with windspeed, you might see the effect of mixing on the CO2 levels. This is a great resource for teachers!

You can also download data from SchoolCO2web. Must remember that you can only download data for 1 month at a time. If you want to see videotutorials for displaying the data in Excel, Menno has published videotutorials at Youtube.

CarboSchools – Sharing experiments

fredag 1 mai 2009, kl. 17:54 | Publisert i Geofag, Konferanser og kurs | 1 kommentar
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May 1st – free time to finish my blog posts about the CarboSchools meeting in Pistoia.

Monday 27th of April it was time for Sharing Experiments. The morning session included Presentation of Experiments and Activities, whereas the afternoon session included parallel activities (workshops, outdoor activities, hands-on experiments, video showings, photo galleries, poster presentations)

Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

Francesca (Italy): CO2 measurements in the different areas of the school

A short presentation of an experiment done with students at a school in Prato. They used an instrument for measuring CO2 in the schools classrooms with and without students, smoking areas, the school yard… The students also wanted to explore the difference in CO2 pressure with altitude – the school has four floors and the student did measurements in different heights. They presented their results at posters.

Anna (Spain) with teachers: Measurement of CO2 along a transect running from a higher to a lower altitude

3 different schools outside of Barcelona – measuring CO2 at different altitudes, looking for difference between the coast and further up the mountain sides.

  • differences between land and countryside due to land use
  • CO2 mixing due to wind, sea breezes, catabatic winds
  • inversion layers – instabilities in the atmosphere – orographic lift – convection

Conceptual objectives

  1. Learn how to measure meteorological parameters using proper devices
  2. Georeference technologies and topographic maps (GPS Google Earth)
  3. Work with spreadsheets
  4. Procedural objectives
  5. Apply the scientific method
  6. Develop autonomic skills
  7. Cooperative work between scientists, students and teachers

Material needed

  1. CO2 sensor with support (Vaisala)
  2. Portable meteorological station
  3. Solar radiation and rain protection (umbrella)
  4. Anemometer and barometer
  5. Topographic maps
  6. Filling in the worksheet
  7. GPS

Development of the activity

  1. Description of the measurement site
  2. Description of the meteorological situation
  3. Measurement of meteorological parameters
  4. Measurement for CO2 6 min
  5. Other interesting things  the site (traffic etc)

Later the students will meet as scientists and exchange their results with each other.

This was really interesting, I’d like to try some of this with my students, and maybe have a similar exchange with other schools in Bergen who teaches geo-science. I need more experience with the data loggers the school bought earlier this year.

Roser (Spain): Hands-On Experiments in the Classroom

Roser showed us several small hands-on experiments that she has used in her classroom – experiments that show the effect of CO2, water vapour and SO2 on temperature. Necessary equipment – glass jars, plasticine, temperature sensors, beakers, water, yeast, sugar / glucose, vinegar, sodic hydrogen carbonate. These experiments are easy to bring into our classrooms – this is what teachers want 🙂

Example – The greenhouse effect (this is from Roser’s own work)
What you need:
  • Three glass jars with lid. The lid has to have a hole to introduce the temperature sensor or the thermometer.
  • Plasticine
  • Temperature sensors or thermometers
  • Two beakers
  • Water
  • Yeast and sugar (glucose), or, vinegar and sodic hydrogen carbonate, which will provide CO2
  • Spoon
  • Light
The activity
  • To obtain CO2 there are two possibilities: mixing vinegar and sodic hydrogen carbonate or adding sugar to a mixture of warm water and yeast.
  • To obtain water vapour we will use a beaker with water.
  • You have to put a beaker with the mixture producing CO2 in a glass jar. Another beaker with water in another glass jar, and we also need an empty glass jar.
  • You have to put the three jars in the Sun with the sensors or the thermometers inside. We need an extra sensor or thermometer to measure the outside temperature. Be careful to put it in a place that has only contact with the air.
  • We will measure the initial temperature and the temperature changes every 5 minutes during 15 minutes if we are using thermometers or you can take continuous data if you have sensors. In each case note the temperature changes every 5 minutes.

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