Carbon Dioxide Basics

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CO2 Sequestration Project

CO2 Glossary

Carbon Dioxide Lesson Plan for 4th and 5th Graders

This lesson plan is a greatbeginning to learning about Carbon Dioxide and the role it plays in life on Earth.

During the day, the sun's light causes particles in the atmosphere to move more quickly, creating heat due to friction. Due to increased level of carbon dioxide, the trapped heat cannot pass through the atmosphere into space because heat's longer, infrared waves are too large. This causes a rise in the ambient temperature on Earth known as the greenhouse effect. Some scientists fear that the rise in temperature will disrupt weather patterns, causing the polar icecaps to melt and release more water into the ocean. This increase in water level might cause two things to happen (1) the ocean's saline concentration would weaken, threatening marine species, and (2) coastal areas would flood.

The build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is caused by deforestation, which reduces the number of trees available to absorb carbon dioxide, and the burning of fossil fuels in power plants.

Carbon dioxide is produced when vinegar and baking soda are mixed. One can then "pour" the gas (carbon dioxide is heavier than air) over a flame and extinguish it. The gas will replace the oxygen and without oxygen, the flame will go out. BTB is an indicator for carbon dioxide. BTB will change from dark blue to light blue, green to yellow depending on the concentration of carbon dioxide. Students can test for the concentration of carbon dioxide using the gas produced when they exhale and when vinegar and baking soda are mixed.