Global Systems Science (GSS),
Originally designed for grades 9-12,
GSS focuses on science-related societal issues. 

Twelve books, teacher guides, and software can support a 1- to 2-year integrated science course or supplement existing biology, physics, chemistry, Earth science, and environmental science courses. 


Latest Staying Up To Date Articles:

2020-03-31. Abnormally warm Gulf of Mexico could intensify the upcoming tornado and hurricane seasons. By Matthew Cappucci, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Water temperatures are running about three degrees above normal. Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are running more than three degrees above average, increasing the prospects for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes this spring and potentially stronger hurricane activity in the summer and fall. The last time Gulf of Mexico waters were similarly warm in 2017, it coincided with an above-average tornado season through the spring, and then Category 4 Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast at the end of summer.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/03/31/gulf-of-mexico-warm-tornadoes-hurricanes] For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. 


2020-03-30. Trump administration to finalize weaker mileage standards, dealing a blow to Obama-era climate policy. By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post. Excerpt: The new rule will improve the U.S. car and light truck fleet’s efficiency by 1.5 percent a year, versus nearly 5 percent under current law.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/30/trump-mileage-standards-environment] For GSS Energy Use chapter 9.  See also: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/climate/trump-fuel-economy.html

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2020-03-30. Vodka From Thin Air: An Unusual Climate Prize Hits a Coronavirus Snag. By Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times. Excerpt: ...The five-year competition, the Carbon XPrize, was designed to create a financial incentive to capture carbon dioxide and use it profitably, instead of releasing it. ...as the Brooklyn vodka makers — along with the nine other finalists from as far afield as Nova Scotia (stronger concrete), India (an ingredient in pharmaceuticals) and China (a plastics replacement) — were approaching the finish line, the competition has been delayed by the coronavirus crisis. ...Mr. Niven wrote his thesis on how to turn carbon dioxide into concrete.... Dimensional Energy, with Mr. Salfi as chief executive. The technology uses concentrated sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into industrial energy sources like syngas, which is used to produce jet fuel, diesel and other liquid fuels. ...Air Co. entered its vodka in a blind taste test at last year’s Luxury Masters competition and won a gold medal.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/climate/xprize-carbon-coronavirus.html] For GSS Climate Change chapter 10. 

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2020-03-26. Ancient warming threw this crucial Atlantic current into chaos. It could happen again. By Paul Voosen, Science Magazine. Excerpt: The Atlantic Ocean’s “conveyor belt,” a powerful current that drags warm water north before submerging it in the North Atlantic, has been humankind’s constant companion. For 8000 years, it has held steady, nourishing Western Europe with tropical warmth. But a new study of the current’s strength over the past half-million years suggests global warming may not shut down the current any time soon, as some scientists fear. Instead, it could trigger a replay of ancient events, when multiple bouts of warming caused rapid, centurylong swings in the current’s strength, sowing climate chaos that may have alternately chilled and warmed Europe.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/ancient-warming-threw-crucial-atlantic-current-chaos-it-could-happen-again#] For GSS Climate Change chapter 7. 

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2020-03-26. Australia’s Record Heat Means Another Blow to Great Barrier Reef. By Richard Pérez-Peña, The New York Times. Excerpt: Record-breaking warm waters have bleached large parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef this year, as they did in 2016 and 2017, scientists reported on Thursday — the latest sign that global warming threatens the health of one of the world’s most important marine ecosystems. “We can confirm that the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its third mass bleaching event in five years,” David Wachenfeld, chief scientist of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, said in a video [http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/the-reef/reef-health] posted on its website. ...Scientists say reefs around the world have been dying at an alarming rate for several years because of global warming. Reef corals grow very slowly, and while most of them can live only in warm water, they are highly sensitive to above-normal temperatures.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/world/australia/bleaching-great-barrier-reef.html] For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 7. 

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2020-03-21. Coming to a Country Near You: A Russian Nuclear Power Plant. By Ivan Nechepurenko and Andrew Higgins, The New York Times. Excerpt: the location of Belarus’s first nuclear power plant — an area of pristine farmland just 40 miles from the capital of neighboring Lithuania — points to calculations that go beyond just kilowatts. .....The facility’s two reactors, set to go into operation soon, will produce far more electricity than Belarus can consume and lie far away from industrial areas eager for cheap power on the other side of the country. ...The plant was built by Rosatom, a state-owned Russian nuclear conglomerate, and financed with a $10 billion credit line from Moscow. ...Russia’s success — it has sold more nuclear technology abroad since Mr. Putin came to power in 1999 than the United States, France, China, South Korea and Japan combined, according to a recent study — is in part commercial, generating lucrative contracts in Europe, Asia and even Africa to sustain Rosatom’s more than 250,000 engineers, researchers, salespeople and other employees.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/21/world/europe/belarus-russia-nuclear.html] For GSS Energy Use chapter 4. 

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2020-03-20. Basalts Turn Carbon into Stone for Permanent Storage. By Kimberly M. S. Cartier. Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Scientists have shown that mineral carbonation can permanently capture and store carbon quickly enough and safely enough to rise to the challenge of climate change. In carbon storage experiments tied to geothermal power plants in Iceland, 90% of injected carbon dioxide (CO2) transformed into minerals in just 2 years. Standard carbon storage methods can take thousands of years to do the same.

“We are basing our methods on this natural process which is part of the big carbon cycle where all carbon on Earth derives from and ends up in rocks,” said one of the lead researchers, Sandra Snæbjörnsdóttir. She is the head of CO2 mineral storage at CarbFix [https://www.carbfix.com/].... [https://eos.org/articles/basalts-turn-carbon-into-stone-for-permanent-storage] For GSS Climate Change chapter 10, Life and Climate chapter 8.

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2020-03-19. Big Rigs Begin to Trade Diesel for Electric Motors. By Susan Carpenter, The New York Times. Excerpt: ...Mr. Williams has been a truck driver for 22 years, logging at least a million miles with diesel power. Since December, he has been testing the battery-electric eCascadia as part of a pilot program in Southern California. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “You don’t go home with your ears ringing every night.” Two years ago, the eCascadia was nothing more than a PowerPoint presentation.... Now it’s one of several competing models, from start-ups as well as established truck makers, that are gearing up for production next year with real-world testing. Orders have poured in, from companies eager to shave operating costs and curb emissions, for trucks that won’t see roads for months or even years. ...“We want them quicker than the manufacturers can produce them,” said NFI’s president, Ike Brown. NFI, a freight hauler based in New Jersey, has been operating 10 eCascadias between the port complex, the country’s busiest, and its warehouse in Chino, 50 miles inland. Mr. Brown’s company makes regional deliveries using a fleet of 4,500 mostly diesel trucks. With a defined daily route of about 250 miles, and trucks that return to the same place every night to recharge, electric trucks “just make sense,” Mr. Brown said. ...Medium- and heavy-duty trucks are responsible for about 8 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Electrics not only reduce tailpipe emissions to zero, they cost less to operate. With fewer moving parts, they are also easier to maintain. On average, it costs about $1.38 per mile to operate a diesel truck, according to the trucking information website TruckInfo.net; $70,000 of the $180,000 annual operating cost is fuel, and $15,000 goes toward maintenance. Tesla, by comparison, estimates its electric Semi will cost $1.26 per mile.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/business/electric-semi-trucks-big-rigs.html] For GSS Energy Use chapter 9. 

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