This article explores an unusual climate solution, describing the environmental dangers of bottom trawling fishing practices and the benefits for ocean ecosystems and the planet that would come with protecting the seafloor.
Students will learn about the extreme need for more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) everywhere and how those protected areas will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
Teachers can create a one-day lesson with the information provided, or the data can become a starting point for an entire unit on how climate change affects the sea.
A helpful sidebar encourages students to take positive steps, such as only eating sustainably harvested seafood.
Students and teachers can easily share the article via social media.
Students should have prior knowledge of the terms "sea floor" and "hectare" versus "acre" since the data is in hectares.
Because the vocabulary is rigorous, a definition list is appropriate.
To introduce this article, teachers can engage classes in a discussion about the sea floor and how to protect it.
Probability and statistics connections can be made in math classes, as there are several data points to evaluate benefits over time and emissions reductions.
Students in English classes can use the article to evaluate the author's purpose, to introduce scientific writing styles, or as practice for reading more complex scientific papers.
Students can each choose an additional climate solution from the Table of Solutions to compare and contrast with protecting the ocean floor as a solution.
Carbon sinks are an integral part of the Earth's system and are responsible for drawing down carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. One vital carbon sink is the ocean floor, which is at risk due to certain seafood fishing practices. This resource examines the impact differing fishing scenarios would have on carbon emissions. This resource is recommended for teaching.
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.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
ETS1: Engineering Design
HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.