43 Discussion: Climate Change

Discussion 5

Climate Change

a river winding through a canyon, with a white ring on the rocks where the surface of the water hits
Figure 1. Aerial view of Lake Powell, showing the white ring left by dropping water levels, Page, Arizona.


This week’s discussion guidelines are different from the previous discussions.

We will be having a conversation about climate change and the ways in it which it might personally affect you or your family. You should have some basic knowledge about the subject and can make educated post(s).

For this discussion, you will write an intial post and reply to at least TWO of your classmates’ posts. Follow the guidelines for each posting below:

Basic Guidelines for Initial Post

(20 points, required)

1. Watch the following two NASA visualizations on how CO2 concentrations change throughout the year in Earth’s atmosphere:

2-D model of CO2 concentrations

3-D model of CO2 concentrations

2. Click on “Start a New Thread”. You need to include all of the following in your own thread:

  1. Answer the following questions thoroughly. Each question should be addressed in the form of a paragraph (3-5 sentences each):
  2. Why do you think CO2 concentrations are generally higher in the Northern Hemisphere?
  3. Why should we be concerned about climate change on a global scale?
  4. How might climate change affect you or your family personally, either presently or in the future?
  5. What are some actions you can reasonably take to curtail (reduce) CO2 emissions in your life?

Initial post must be made before 3 days (72 hours) before the discussion closes.

Basic Guidelines for Replies to Students

(10 points, required)

  1. Each reply must contain 6 or 7 meaningful sentences directly related to article content. Phrases like “that is a great article!” and “I really liked your summary” do not count as meaningful content. However, these are still encouraging phrases in support of your peers so please feel free to include them in your post.
  2. You must reply to at least 2 other students. (3, or more, for extra credit.)
  3. If your replies are too short, you will need to make more than 2 replies to reach your full sentence count for the discussion (2 replies x 6 or 7 sentences each = 12-14 sentences required in each discussion).
  4. Do not wait until the last day of the discussion to make your replies. You only receive credit for one reply (up to 10 points max) on the last day.
  5. Reply early and often, and earning your full discussion points will be easy!

Extra Credit

(5 points, optional)

Make a third reply (or more!) to a student following the guidelines above.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of your participation in the discussion, you will become more aware of others’ concerns with a changing climate. You will begin to think more broadly about how climate change affects Earth’s systems, features, and population on a global scale. You will practice critical thinking skills with regard to a current and relevant issue in geology and the scientific community in general.

Grading Rubric

Initial Post

20 points: Initial post met length and content requirements

15 points: Initial post needs minor improvements in length and content

10 points: Initial post needs major improvements in length or content

5 points: Initial post was made but with very little effort

0 points: Initial post was not made

Reply posts (each)

5 points: Reply was thoughtful, relevant, and met length requirements.

4 points: Reply needs minor improvements in relevancy and/or length.

2.5 points: Reply needs major improvements in relevancy and/or length.

1 points: Reply was made but with very little effort.

0 points: Reply was not made.


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