The Air We Breathe

The Appalachian Mountains, with dense forest cover, make western North Carolina a unique laboratory from which to monitor air quality and atmospheric conditions and their impact on ecosystems.

NGSS Performance Expectation: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.

NC Essential Science Standard (Earth and Environmental Science): Explain changes in global climate due to natural processes.

Discussion Questions

  1. What natural processes cloak the Smoky Mountains in a blue haze?
  2. What are volatile organic compounds?
  3. How has climate change impacted the Smoky Mountains?
  4. What is the connection between the blue haze and the climate?
  5. What types of data are the researchers collecting to answer that question?

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