Daily Assignments (pdf)
I. Why is the Climate Changing?
Activity 1: How much is the climate changing?
Activity 2: How are the atoms in atmospheric gas molecules connected?
Activity 3: What are the shapes of atmospheric gas molecules?
Activity 4: What is a Greenhouse Gas?
Activity 5: What are the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases?
Activity 6: How do we balance the source and sink equations?
Activity 7: What are your personal contributions to carbon dioxide emissions?
Activity 8: How much do your daily activities contribute to rising greenhouse gas levels?
Summary Activity 9: How Should We Keep Cool?
Background Readings (pdf)
A. "Earth-Friendly Cool Cars in 2011," C&E News, September 4, 2006
B. "Keeping His Cool," C&E News, September 15, 2008
C. "GM First to Market Greenhouse Gas-Friendly Air Conditioning Refrigerant in U.S,." Press Release, July 2, 2010
D. "Greenlight For New Automotive Refrigerant," C&E News, March 7, 2011
E. "Honeywell, Dupont Face European Probe,"
C&E News, January 2, 2012
F. "As Coolant Is Phased Out, Smugglers Reap Large Profits," New York Times, September 7, 2012
G. "UN hails 25-year ozone treaty for preventing disaster," Agence France-Presse, September 14, 2012
H. "Effort to Curb Coolant Falters, Sometimes at Home," New York Times, November 22, 2012
I. "US and China to Cooperate on Reducing Potent Greenhouse Gases," C&E News, June 10, 2013
J. "EPA Approves New Climate-Friendly Refrigerants/Rule," EPA Newsroom, March 2, 2015
K. "Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of Substitutes for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and Revision of the Venting Prohibition for Certain Refrigerant Substitutes," Federal Register, April 10, 2015
"Global Warming Potentials and Ozone Depletion Potentials of Refrigerants," US EPA, 2014
"Climate friendly mobile air conditioning for buses," Umweltbundesamt, 2015
"Bans on F gas in new equipment," UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, 2014
"Cool Technologies: Working Without HFCs," Greenpeace, 2012 (See sections B.1, C.1.a, D, D.9, E)
NASA's Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS Data Movies)
Gas Concentrations, Ozone Depletion Potential, and Atmospheric Lifetime (table, jsmol, Movies)
HR 910: A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit regulation of greenhouse gases was passed by the House (April 7, 2011), but died in 2013 when the legislative session ended without action by the Senate.
Climate Change Action Plan (Obama, June 2013)
China has pledged to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% for 2030 compared with 2005 levels. (June 2015)
Australia will implement an economy-wide target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent for 2030 compared with 2005 levels. (August 2015)
United States will reduce US carbon emissions from the power sector in each state by 32% for 2030 compared with 2005 levels. Suggested limits are 1000 lb CO2/MWh for natural gas units and 2000 lb CO2/MWh for coal units. (Obama Clean Power Plan, August 2015) BBC, NY Times
Paris Climate Change Agreement aims to keep global warming below 2°C.
Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are 'Terrifying', Sept. 8, 2016, New York Times
States Will Lead on Climate Change in the Trump Era, Dec. 26, 2016, New York Times
Obama Farewell Address, Jan. 10, 2017 youtube
II. Food and Fuel: Which Energy Sources Should We Use?
Activity 10: What is Gasoline?
Activity 11: What Functional Groups are in Foods?
Lab 8, 9, 10 Synthesis and Analysis: Is my Aspirin Pure?
Lab 11: What is pH and how does it affect coral reefs?
Activity 12: What is the Difference Between Fats and Oils?
Activity 13: How Much Heat is Released Upon Fuel Combustion?
Activity 14: Why do we make so much CO2?
Activity 15: What are some Alternative Fuels we could use?
Lab 14: Preparation of an Alkaline Fuel Cell
Lab 16, 17, 18: How Can Used Fryer Oil Be Turned Into Fuel?
Summary Activity 16: Food & Fuel
What will fuel transport systems of the future? (pdf) Materials Today, November 2011
Renewable Fuels (Figures)
Smooth Running with Soybeans (pdf) Chemical & Engineering News, October 28, 2013
Ethanol in fuel (Audio), February 19, 2010
Ethanol subsidies (Audio), January 3, 2012
A Fine for Biofuels That Don't Exist (pdf)
New York Times, January 9, 2012
New York Times, January 31, 2013
Government Cuts Biofuel Targets (pdf)
Chemical & Engineering News, November 19, 2013
EPA Regulatory Announcement, May, 2015
Robotic Kelp Farms Promise an Ocean Full of Carbon-Neutral, Low-Cost Energy (pdf) or IEEE Spectrum, 15 Mar 2017.
Boeing 747 transatlantic biofuel flight (Movie), June 2011
Cellulosic Ethanol (Denmark) (Movie), January 2012
What are biofuels? (Movie), ExxonMobil, May 2016
Algae for Fuel (Movie), NETNebraska, July 2011
Tinder Chips (Movie), May 2014
III. How Can We Reduce Energy Use For Lighting?
Activity 17: What lighting options are currently available?
Reading Groups: AGL, BJM, CKN, DEH, FIO (pdf)
- "A brilliant new approach", The Economist, March 19, 2009
- "Green Promise Seen in Switch to LED Lighting", The New York Times, May 30, 2009
- "Incandescent Bulbs Return to the Cutting Edge", The New York Times, July 6, 2009
- "Europe's Ban on Old-Style Bulbs Begins", The New York Times, September 1, 2009
- "Build a Better Bulb for a $10 Million Prize", The New York Times, September 24, 2009
- "Tiny semiconductor crystals, called quantum dots, enable new forms of energy-efficient lighting", The Economist, March 4, 2010
- "LED Lighting: Blue + Yellow = White" and "The Light bulb that really is a better idea", IEEE Spectrum, January 2011
- "Seeing the Light: LED technology moves into the mainstream and delivers improved efficiencies", Signage Solutions, Nov/Dec 2011
- "What it takes to change all the street lights in New York City", Greenbiz, April 17, 2013 and October 29, 2013
- "This Little LED of Mine", The New York Times, November 2, 2013
- "Efficient, useful blue-light LED draws Nobel Prize in physics", CNET, October 7, 2014
- "Benefits and Disadvantages of LED Lighting", LED Technology, 2012, and Luminanz Ltd, 2011, and Pulse, 2015
- "How to get that old-fashioned light bulb glow without wasting so much energy", Science, 11 Jan 2016
- "Science advances in matching LED lighting to horticultural needs ," LEDs Magazine, 20 Sept 2016
- "LED Streetlights Are Giving Neighborhoods the Blues," IEEE Spectrum, 22 Sept 2016
- "Light Bulb Savings Calculator"
Activity 18: Why have metals been used through the ages?
Activity 19: What is Blackbody Radiation?
Activity 20: Which solid elements can be heated electrically to give off light and how does their electrical resistance depend on shape and temperature?
Activity 21: How would you design an incandescent (blackbody emitting) bulb?
Activity 22: What controls the properties of elements?
Activity 23: How can we represent solids?
Activity 24: What pairs of elements will combine to make solids?
Activity 25: How can you get light from atoms or solids?
Activity 26: How can you get a specific color of light from a solid?
Lab 26: How do we know how atoms are arranged in solids?
Lab 27: Synthesis and Characterization of CH3NH3Pb(I1-xBrx)3 Solid Solution Perovskite Semiconductors
Summary Activity 28: Lighting
Activity 27, Lab 28, Lab 29: Is my soil contaminated?
Putting it all together
This page created by George Lisensky, Beloit College.
Last modified April 21, 2017.