The Earth’s atmosphere 4.6 billion years ago may have begun like the atmosphere of Mars today, consisting of mainly carbon dioxide with little or no oxygen gas.
Students will explore theories of how oxygen levels have increased to air that is breathable today, and how carbon dioxide has decreased to less than 1%.
The greenhouse effect and greenhouse gases will be discussed and explored using engaging experiments and students are encouraged to discuss the scale, risk and environmental implications of global climate change.
This download includes the full PDF lesson plan and seven accompanying worksheets.
Why teach this?
If we could walk with dinosaurs in the Jurassic Period, the first challenge facing us would be a lack of oxygen; at approaching half current values it would not be sufficient to support mammalian life. We would need a spacesuit, like an astronaut, to breath on our own planet.
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