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D4.3.1—Anthropogenic causes of climate change


Here are experiments our science specialists have selected to support this IB* topic.

Fossil Fuels

Experiment #26 from Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry

In the Preliminary Activity, you will determine the heat of combustion of paraffin wax (in kJ/g). You will first use the energy from burning paraffin wax to heat a known quantity of water. By monitoring the temperature of the water, you can find the amount of heat transferred to it (in kJ), using the formula

q = C_p cdot m cdot Delta t

where q is heat, Cp is the specific heat capacity of water, m is the mass of water, and Δt is the change in temperature of the water. Finally, the amount of fuel burned will be taken into account by calculating the heat per gram of paraffin wax consumed in the combustion.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about fossil fuel energy before you choose and investigate a researchable question.

Exploring the Greenhouse Effect

Experiment #4 from Climate and Meteorology Experiments

  • Use temperature sensors to measure temperatures in a model greenhouse and a control.
  • Use the results to make conclusions about the greenhouse effect.

Educational Standard
International Baccalaureate (IB) 2025
D Continuity and change
Level of organization
4 Ecosystems
D4.3 Climate change
Standard level and higher level

* The IB Diploma Program is an official program of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) which authorizes schools to offer it. The material available here has been developed independently of the IBO and is not endorsed by it.