An Effect of rapidly melting permafrost

Grade level: 6th grades

Skills: Average 

sRelated environmental issues: Climate Change

It was reported that the temperature in the Arctic is the warmest in more than 10,000 years and it resulted in rapidly melting permafrost, soil that remains frozen year round. Due to the warmer temperature, the number of thaw slumps on Banks Island in Canada increased from 63 in 1984 to 4,077 in 2019. Those researchers predict that Banks Island will have 10,000 new slumps by 2085 if current climate warming continues.  Permafrost thaw could accelerate climate warming by releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.*

Permafrost (Climate State)

  1. Between 1984 and 2019, how many did the number of thaw slumps increase per year on average? Round to the nearest whole number.
  2. Between 2019 and 2085, according to the prediction, how many will the number of thaw slumps increase per year on average? Round to the nearest whole number. 

*Note) Permafrost is soil that remains frozen year round. Due to its frozen state, organic matter in permafrost soils experience little decomposition by soil microbes. As a result, permafrost soils in high latitude ecosystems currently store twice as much carbon as is currently present in the atmosphere. More than 50% of global terrestrial carbon is stored in permafrost regions. Permafrost thaw stimulates the microbial decomposition of soil organic matter. This decomposition results in releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.

 

 

 

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Answer keys

  1. 115    (4077-63) / (2019-1984) = 4014 / 35 = 114.6
  2. 90   (10000 – 4077) / (2085 – 2019) = 5923 / 66 = 89.7

How many non-native marine species were found in Galápagos islands?

Grade level: 6th grades

Skills: Percentage and addition

sRelated environmental issues: Biodiversity

The Galápagos islands, which lie in the equatorial Pacific, have long been recognized for their remarkable biodiversity and their large number of endemic species.  However,  the environment of the Galápagos islands started to change because many non-native species have been brought to the islands by human activity over the last 500 years.

galapagos-islands1.jpg

A recent research identified 53 non-native marine species in the islands.

  1. The research showed that 93% of the 53 species were likely brought to the Galápagos Islands by ships. How many non-native marine species were brought by ships? Round to the nearest whole number.
  1. The Galápagos islands were first visited by Europeans in the 1500s. By the late 1960s, 2000–3000 people lived on the Islands. In a 2010, there were 25,000 residents and one-quarter million visitors annually. Together, how many residents and tourists a year are there in the Galápagos islands?

 

Answer keys

  1. 49 species (53 x 0.93 = 49.29)
  2. 275,000 (25,000 + 250,000= 275,000)