Posts Tagged 'education'

Using demonstrations involving combustion and acid–base chemistry to show hydration of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and magnesium oxide and their relevance for environmental climate science

The nature of acidic and basic (alkaline) oxides can be easily illustrated via a series of three straightforward classroom demonstrations for high school and general chemistry courses. Properties of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and magnesium oxide are revealed inexpensively and safely. Additionally, the very different kinetics of hydration of SO2 (rapid) and CO2 (slow) are evident. The pH changes observed by use of universal indicator provide striking visual evidence that makes the concepts of acidic and basic oxides less abstract and more concrete than verbal or written descriptions alone. By using the MgO solution for the SO2 hydration reaction, one can mimic environmental interactions that lead to the neutralization of alkaline and acidic species. Interestingly, the SO2 and CO2 demonstrations can easily be adapted to environmental chemistry courses and especially the very relevant realm of climate change science. The difference in hydration rates explains why CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but SO2 is not listed as one. Variations of the CO2 hydration demonstration reveal the sensitivity of oceans to acidification by dissolved CO2 and the relationship of fossil fuel combustion to ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Using demonstrations involving combustion and acid–base chemistry to show hydration of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and magnesium oxide and their relevance for environmental climate science’

Ocean acidification education: Educational resource analysis

This article aims to establish synergies between Science Education, Environmental Education and Marine Science (Campus do Mar), which has already begun, in order to provide ocean acidification education resources for Primary School teachers in pre-service training Global reports, based on emerging ocean acidification science, indicate that this process can be of the same magnitude as climate change; hence its importance to humanity’s future. The existing on-line resources have been located, an initial revision of them has been carried out, and a set of analysis categories has been proposed in order to subsequently design educational interventions connecting scientific knowledge, values and attitudes. These will lead to acquiring scientific competence and to acting in favour of the environment as well as developing critical thinking. A collaboration with other institutions has begun to influence non-formal education.

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Crossing the Ecoline: a visual response to increasing levels of ocean acidification

This text is presented in conjunction with my exhibition Crossing the Ecoline and is a visual response to changing levels of ocean acidification. My art making is informed by the processes of dispersal and dissolution that occur at the point where the absorption of carbon dioxide takes place between the atmosphere and the ocean. This project is of an interdisciplinary nature and traverses art and science – both technically and through collaboration. By working in close consultation with marine scientists I hope to draw attention to the little-known issue of ocean acidification through creative means. Through the consideration of materials and processes I aim to bring attention to where billions of microorganisms called phytoplankton live. The project is concerned with the idea of the edge: boundary or border as a conceptual notion, as well as through my art making practice, its interdiscplinarity and subject matter.

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How to document ocean acidification data (e-Lecture)

The number of ocean acidification (OA) studies has increased significantly over the last decade. Most of this was due to studies on biological responses of organisms to OA. The lack of a protocol to document biological response OA data prevents the research community from properly archiving, discovering, accessing, and utilizing this important body of OA data sets. In this e-Lecture, we present how to document an OA data set by explaining major components of a metadata template, which can be applied to a broad spectrum of OA studies, including those studying the biological responses to OA. The major metadata components include Investigators, Title, Abstract, Temporal coverage, Spatial coverage, Geographic names, Location of organism collection, Platforms, Variable metadata clusters, Publications describing the data set, and Supplementary information. Of these components, Variable metadata clusters (variables and their metadata sub-elements) are treated as the focal point of the template. In addition to variable name , other metadata elements include the observation type, whether it is an in-situ observation, manipulation condition, or response variable, biological subject, life stage of the biological subject, etc. Information about how to access the metadata template files is also stated.

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Awareness of climate change and sustainable development among undergraduates from two selected universities in Oyo State, Nigeria

This study investigated awareness of climate change and sustainable development among undergraduates in two universities: University of Ibadan, Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso in Oyo Stateof Nigeria. This was aimed at increasing the knowledge of undergraduates on climate change and sustainable development. The study adopted a survey design. The population for the study consisted of 300 hundred undergraduates in University of Ibadan, Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso in Oyo State, Nigeria. The students were selected using purposively random sampling technique. A 45-item each with Likert type response format titled ‘’Awareness of Climate Change and Sustainable Development among Undergraduates Students’’tagged ACCSDUS were administered. Data obtained were analyzed using simple percentages and t-test.The results showed that undergraduates possessed high level of awareness on the concept of climate change, have access to the sources of information and factors of personal experience, public sources and education greatly influence their awareness. The results further showed that there was no significant difference in the level of climate change and sustainable development awareness in term of gender (t= 0.733 > 0.05). There is a significant difference in the level of awareness of undergraduates on the concept of climate change based on school ownership (t= 0.013 <0.05). The study concluded that climate change education should be structured and embedded in the curricula of schools at all levels and that training, re-training, empowerment or enlightenment of the public and stakeholders in climate change should be carried out without bias, discrimination or marginalization of any form.

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Ocean acidification – a paleo perspective

Dissolution of atmospheric CO2 in seawater has lowered ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations with impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems. The geological record contains long-term evidence for a variety of global environmental perturbations, including ocean acidification, and the biotic responses associated with them, and can provide insight into consequences of current anthropogenic acidification. This e-lecture focuses on the paleo-perspective of ocean acidification, proxy evidence for pH changes and several events exhibiting evidence for elevated atmospheric CO2, global warming, and ocean acidification over the past ˜300 million years are reviewed. Comparison between these events and the present suggests that the current and projected rate of acidification may be unprecedented in past events with unknown consequences for marine life and humans who depend on it.

The target audiences for this e-Lecture are upper division undergraduate students and graduate students with some previous background in oceanography and paleoceanography. This could be a lecture in an “introduction to paleoceanography” class that discusses archives and proxies or a lecture in a topical “ocean acidification” class covering paleo ocean acidification. Depending on audience background the lecture may take 50 minutes (students versed in paleoceanography) or 90 minutes (novice students).

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Public understanding in Great Britain of ocean acidification

Public engagement with climate change is critical for maintaining the impetus for meaningful emissions cuts. Ocean acidification (OA) is increasingly recognized by marine scientists as an important, but often overlooked, consequence of anthropogenic emissions1, 2. Although substantial evidence now exists concerning people’s understanding of climate change more generally3, very little is known about public perceptions of OA. Here, for the first time, we characterize in detail people’s understanding of this topic using survey data obtained in Great Britain (n = 2,501) during 2013 and 2014. We draw on theories of risk perception and consider how personal values influence attitudes towards OA. We find that public awareness of OA is very low compared to that of climate change, and was unaffected by the publication of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Using an experimental approach, we show that providing basic information can heighten concern about OA, however, we find that attitude polarization along value-based lines may occur if the topic is explicitly associated with climate change. We discuss the implications of our findings for public engagement with OA, and the importance of learning lessons from communications research relating to climate change.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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