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Balance of Rates: A Thought Experiment

Keywords: carbon emissions, rates, unbalanced rates

We often look at the number of tonnes of carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere for a given activity. But what if it's not a question of how much- but rather, how fast?

We are pumping tens of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. In contrast, the naturally occurring exchanges of carbon dioxide happen in the hundreds of billions of tonnes. Does this render our human activity insignificant? In this activity, we explore how even small differences in a balance can cause a large influence over time.

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1 year 18 weeks ago

Capturing Solar Energy with Photovoltaic Cells

Keywords: Lend an Experiment (LEx), photovoltaic cell, photovoltaics, resistance, solar, solar cells, solar energy

Did you know that the amount of power from a solar panel depends on what it's connected to? Explore how photovoltaic panels work, converting light into electrical energy, and learn how you can find the maximum power output from a solar panel.

This activity is part of the LEx (Lend an Experiment) Climate Kit. Students use solar panels to generate electrical power, exploring how light energy can be turned into electricity. Students connect the photovoltaic cells to different loads to find their peak power output.

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1 year 18 weeks ago

Generating Electricity: Wind and Water

Keywords: electricity, electricity generation, hydro-electricity, Lend an Experiment (LEx), wind, wind energy, wind turbines

A match made in energy heaven, wind and water are wonderful sources of clean, renewable energy. Let us see what goes into this electricity generation by making some wind and water turbines ourselves!

This activity is part of the LEx (Lend an Experiment) Climate Kit. Students generate their own wind or hydro electric power by constructing wind/water blades, exploring how mechanical energy from external sources can be harnessed and turned into electrical energy. The effect of different gear ratios can also be explored.

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1 year 20 weeks ago

Solar Energy: How do photovoltaics work?

Keywords: photovoltaics, solar, solar panel

How does energy from the sun get transformed into electricity? Learn how photovoltaic panels work, converting light into electrical energy.

Learn how photovoltaic panels work, converting light into electrical energy.

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1 year 25 weeks ago

Investigating the Greenhouse Effect and Passive Solar Heating

Keywords: greenhouse effect, Lend an Experiment (LEx), thermal absorption

We all know a car sitting outside in the sun all day can get dangerously hot inside, but why? What does this have to do with the greenhouse effect?

This activity is part of the LEx (Lend an Experiment) Climate Kit. Students explore the way materials and surfaces interact with solar radiation. We introduce the idea of the greenhouse effect, and build a small model to illustrate how it works.

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1 year 27 weeks ago

Light Bulb Efficiency and Hand Crank Energy Generation

Keywords: breadboard, circuit, efficiency, electricity generation, energy, energy conversion, Lend an Experiment (LEx), lighting

What does it really take to power a light bulb?

This activity is part of the LEx (Lend an Experiment) Climate Kit. Students compare the power consumption of incandescent and LED bulbs through the use of hand crank generators and a simple circuit. Concepts include the conversion of mechanical to electrical energy, power and efficiency, and measurement estimation. There is an option to also investigate the efficiency of the hand crank generator.

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1 year 30 weeks ago

Carbon Storage

Keywords: carbon dioxide, carbon emissions

Are ways to perform human control of the carbon in the atmosphere? How do we do it? Is it safe?

Humanity is not without means to control the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There are ways it can be sucked out of the air and placed deep underground. However, this is by no means a permanent solution and is not without its risks.

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1 year 37 weeks ago

Renewable Energies

Keywords: biofuel, electricity generation, energy, hydro-electricity, Renewable, solar energy, wind energy

Energy is always required, whether it be for the production of goods, the supplying of services, or for transportation. Can we reduce our emissions by turning to clean sources of energy? If so, why haven't we already?

A large portion of humanity's energy demands are met using fossil fuels. Switching from fossil fuel generation to cleaner sources could greatly reduce the carbon emission put out every year. There are many ways to obtain energy cleanly, each with their own advantages and challenges.

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1 year 37 weeks ago

Trend Analysis in the Context of Global Warming

Keywords: anthropogenic climate change, climate, climate change, trend analysis

There are many sources ranging from politicians to mass media that claim that the Earth is actually cooling, not warming as scientists say it is. Unusually cold periods and local changes in weather are generally the cause for these statements. Why are these claims inaccurate?

There are many claims made refuting the existence of global warming. Most of these claims come from looking at very short term data in a very localized region. Global warming, as the name implies, is an increase in the global temperature and conclusions about it cannot be reached using measurements localized in time and space. Doing so is called "cherry picking".

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1 year 37 weeks ago

Climate Models: Simulating the Earth

Keywords: climate, climate change, simulating data

Climate models can give us a great deal of information about what sort of rules the climate follows and how the climate might look like in the future. A climate model is the result of a simulation run on a virtual Earth. This simulation mimics the real Earth and its climate as well as any influences the planet might have on the climate. They are used to predict the future of the climate using computers.

The prediction of future climate is done using climate models, virtual Earths with their climates simulated many years into the future. These virtual Earths live inside computers and evolve according to complex equations solved for points in time. The results that these climate models give provide us with important information to make decisions relating to climate change before we encounter the potentially catastrophic consequences.

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1 year 37 weeks ago
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