Carbon Cycle Game

Directions:

Reservoir No. of students (25 class size)
Fossil Fuel 10
Atmosphere 1
Deep Ocean 10
Land Plants 1
Marine Biota 0
Organic Oceanic 1
Soil and Detritus 2
Surface Ocean 1
Surface Sediment 0
  1. Instructor prints files: Passport and stations - .odg,   .pdf     Stamps - .odg,   .pdf
  2. Students get their passports.
  3. The instructor assigns carbon atoms (students) to their starting locations using the table as a guide.
  4. At the location, the atom records in their passports how they got there and (or stamp) their location.
  5. The carbon atom rolls the dice at each station to determine where they are going next and how they are getting there.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for effect.
  7. "Fossil Fuel" students feed into the atmosphere whenever a new student visits the atmosphere. Each new visitor must represent one year's passage.
  8. Instructor provides a landscape drawing similar to fig 7.1. Students draw lines on landscape to show their journeys. Discuss the patterns formed.
  9. Students answer Global Carbon Cycle Questions.

Reservoirs

  1. Atmosphere - 778 Gtc ≈ ¾ sheet
  2. Deep Ocean (and intermediate)- 38,100 Gtc ≈ 38 sheets
  3. Land plants - 610 Gtc ≈ ½ sheet
  4. Marine biota - 3 Gtc ≈ 3-hole punch paper
  5. Organic Oceanic (dissolved) - 700 Gtc ≈ ¾ sheet
  6. Soil and detritus - 1580 Gtc ≈ 1½ sheets
  7. Surface ocean - 1020 Gtc ≈ 1 sheet
  8. Surface sediment - 150 Gtc ≈ 3x5" note card

Fluxes

Movement of carbon. Units are gigatons of carbon per year.


Reference

Strategic Plan for Climate Change Science Program. Final Report 2003. Figure 7-1.