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Nancy Harris and David Gibbs, Global Forest Watch


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 48 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus


Forests Absorb Twice as Much Carbon as They Emit Each Year

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  • This article describes how the world's forests can act as carbon sources and sinks, depending on their management.
  • Students will learn about forest management practices that affect carbon emissions and the positive impacts of indigenous land rights in resource protection.
  • The article ends with a short video about the technology used to map forest carbon sinks and sources around the world.

Teaching Tips


  • This article provides a concise explanation of forests acting as carbon sources and sinks and how this is linked to climate change.
  • The maps and graphics are great visuals to help students understand the information.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with decoding maps that use color legends to convey data.


  • Students can continue their research with some of the linked resources and share their findings with the class.
  • Teachers may want to discuss how to interpret the infographic data included in the article with the class to ensure they understand what the visuals are conveying.
  • This resource could be used in science classes when learning about deforestation, the carbon cycle, climate change, and climate change solutions.
Scientist Notes
Students will be tooled with forest mapping skills to identify and analyse rate of deforestation, blue spots, sinks and also develop long-term plans for sustainable forest protection. The resource is valid and recommended to teach students.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.3.9-12 Use geographic data to analyze variations in the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics at multiple scales.
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