An Inconvenient Truth - Is It Still Effective at Familiarizing Students with Global Warming?

Mark A. Griep, Kaitlin Reimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Chemistry courses for nonscience majors emphasize chemical concepts and the relationship of chemical knowledge to everyday life while teaching the utility of quantitative analysis. As an introduction to the topic of global warming, the first half of An Inconvenient Truth, released in 2006, has been shown annually since 2008 in the chemistry course for nonscience majors at a large public university. The initial goal of the current study was to determine the effectiveness of this introduction. Even though the results indicate that the percentage of students who have watched this documentary has declined over the years, nearly all students enjoy learning from this relatively jargon-free, broad overview. The documentary causes students to formulate questions about the data presented and to want to learn what has been done about this issue since the documentary was released and whether the trends have continued. All of these are then addressed in subsequent lectures. By collecting the data about the documentary's effectiveness over a period of years, it became possible to address the question whether it remains effective at familiarizing students with global warming ten years after its debut.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1886-1893
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 8 2016


  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Enrichment/Review Materials
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Geochemistry
  • High School/Introductory Chemistry
  • Multimedia-Based Learning
  • Nonmajor Courses
  • Water/Water Chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


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