Activity 8: The oceans as a climate buffer
Without our oceans, comparable greenhouse gas concentrations would lead to much higher temperatures on Earth - fortunately, however, a large part of the additional energy entered into the climate system ends up in the oceans.
The heat storage capacity (and thermal conductivity) of water can be impressively experienced with the simple experiment of activity.
- Description to the activity from the guide (PDF / editable word-document)
- Solution to the activity from the guide (PDF)
- DIN A3-backround text to the activity from the climate kit (all backround texts for download)
More materials like h5p-study units, videos and animations with Module - Consequences of climate change.
Video: The oceans as a climate buffer
Technical questions and didactic comments
The fact that the water-filled balloon does not burst is mainly due to the relatively high thermal conductivity of water. In contrast to the air-filled case, the heat of the candle flame can be dissipated quickly enough by the rubber skin into the water so that it does not reach its melting point.
Nevertheless, the impressive and simple experiment can be usefully employed as an introduction to the topic of the buffer effect of the oceans, since the balloon does not heat up noticeably even after a long time above the candle flame.
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