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Tracking Global Climate Change: Microfossil Record of the Planetary Heat Pump
This series of activities is designed to show students how a large scale planetary process, the transport of heat over the surface of the Earth, operates and has operated over time. The activities include how energy is absorbed by the Earth from the Sun, how and why this energy is distributed over the earth's surface, what controls energy distribution, how we can track the energy distributing process using the oceanic microfossil record, and what that record shows us about variation of heat distribution with time. This topic is of basic scientific interest and it has real importance to the growing societal interest in global climate change.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lab activity
    • Guide for instructor
  • Biology
  • Climatology
  • Environmental science
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Paleontology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 1996-2000 by The Museum of Paleontology of The University of California, Berkeley; the Regents of the University of California; and The Paleontological Society. No part of the referring document residing on the server, may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without prior written permission of the publisher, except for educational purposes, and in no case for profit.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-003-011
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Evolution and equilibrium
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • B - Physical science:
        • Chemical reactions
        • Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
        • Interactions of energy and matter
      • C - Life science:
        • Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: University of California Museum of Paleontology

Author: Paul Loubere
Northern Illinois University