Translate this page

Lesson Ideas

5 Science Articles on Climate Change and GHG Emissions

The effects of climate change are becoming ever more evident and urgent. At SJK, we want to help teachers equip the next generation to make informed decisions in order to slow climate change and limit its consequences. This collection of adapted research articles highlights a variety of perspectives and research methodologies to explore the relationship between our consumption habits and greenhouse gas emissions. They are all suitable for a high school students, come with videos to introduce the topics at the start of class, and offer a selection of additional teaching resources

1. More stuff = more climate change?

In this article, students are invited to consider how their purchases affect climate change. Scientists assessed the carbon footprint of people living in different parts of Europe by calculating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by their consumer lifestyles. We encourage students to become conscious consumers and buy less to reduce their carbon footprints.

2. How can we reduce our environmental footprint one food at a time?

Producing the food you eat uses a lot of water and releases gases that warm the planet. If you ate foods that had a smaller impact on the environment, you could help fight climate change. We collected diet data from a national survey in the USA to figure out which foods produced the most carbon emissions. Then we created new potential diets where we substituted foods that had a smaller impact. We found that replacing beef products reduced carbon emissions and water use the most. That means not eating beef can lower the impact of your diet on the environment.

3. How much does it cost when cows burp?

In this article, scientists calculated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from beef production in contrast to wheat production across their entire life cycles. Students are asked to consider the carbon-equivalent emissions produced at every stage of production, including electricity use, packaging, and transportation. We introduce the idea of a carbon tax to offset the burden these emissions place on the environment and the later cost to taxpayers in the form of relief from more frequently occurring extreme weather, floods, and droughts. We invite students to take action to limit their own carbon footprints.

4. How can we store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in minerals?

Did you know that the sea level is rising and that weather patterns are changing worldwide? Because of human activities, there is extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That’s why the Earth has gotten warmer. We can take the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it. Current technologies transform it into a liquid and pump it back into the ground. Unfortunately, this way of doing things can be expensive and difficult to manage. That’s why we created a different method of collecting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Our process uses the natural ability of ocean water to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Then it forms minerals that we can store or use. Our observations proved that our process successfully removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Our analysis also showed that our method is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than current technologies.

5. How can we make biofuels more climate-friendly?

In this article, we present the results of field studies in Hawaii from scientists who want to produce plants for biofuels in a more sustainable way. Students will discover that biofuels are often not green at all because producing them uses fossil fuels and results in greenhouse gas emissions. We show how particular agricultural methods combined with good crop selection can result in much more climate-friendly biofuels.

That’s Not All!

Check out our these links for additional adapted research articles on specific environmental science topics:

Use our feedback form to let us know if this type of resource is useful for your students or if there is something else you’d like to see on our site!

Share this Lesson Idea

Check out this Related lesson idea

Latest Scientific Articles

We want to hear from you!

If you are a teacher and you used some of our resources in class, we want your feedback! Please fill out this Teacher Feedback survey!

Journal funding support from:

Recommended by: