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


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


Trends in Atmospheric Sulfur Hexafluoride

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  • How has the amount of sulfur hexafluoride in the atmosphere changed over the past 40 years? This site allows users to interact with graphs and datasets to answer this question. 
  • Students will be able to see graphs depicting global average sulfur hexafluoride amounts in the atmosphere and read text describing the data and how it was gathered. 
Teaching Tips


  • The graphs are simple and easy to interpret.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers may want to provide some background about sulfur hexafluoride's relationship to climate change.
  • Students may need help understanding the units mole fraction and parts per billion.
  • If the technical reading is distracting, there are PDFs of the graphs and data that teachers can use instead.
  • The data is also downloadable in CSV files.


  • The reading is very technical and is probably most appropriate for upper high school students.
  • Students can work independently or in a small group to create a list of noticings and wonderings about the data.
  • Students could research how sulfur hexafluoride is released into the atmosphere and potential solutions to limit this greenhouse gas.
  • Other helpful resources include this video about greenhouse gases from Hot Mess and this video about the greenhouse effect from Khan Academy.
Scientist Notes
There is no contradiction in the resource. This resource is recommended.
  • Science
    • 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-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • HS-ESS3-5. 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.
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