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Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser


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


Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Global Atmospheric Nitrous Oxide Concentration

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  • This interactive chart allows students to explore the global atmospheric concentration of nitrous oxide (N2O) over time.
  • The chart can be customized to show a specific date range (starting in 1750) and can be downloaded.
Teaching Tips


  • Students can click the "play" arrow below the chart or table to see how the data has changed over time.
  • The resource uses data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE).

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know how to read a line graph.


  • This resource could be useful in a discussion about sustainability, the ozone layer, and the impacts of industrial farming.
  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with math classes when working with data and graphs.
  • Other resources related to this topic include this graph and table on nitrous oxide emissions by sector and this map of nitrous oxide emissions
  • Students could research the following questions:
    • How potent is nitrous oxide as a greenhouse gas?
    • How much nitrous oxide is released from fertilizer and livestock waste lagoons?
    • How does fertilizer use contribute to eutrophication and dead zones?
    • How potent is nitrous oxide as an ozone-damaging gas?
Scientist Notes

This resource depicts time series data on the average atmospheric concentration of N2O. Datasets acquired from EEA are accurate and the resource is recommended for teaching. 


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
  • Mathematics
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • HSS.IC.B.6(+) Evaluate reports based on data (e.g., interrogate study design, data sources, randomization, the way the data are analyzed and displayed, inferences drawn and methods used; identify and explain misleading uses of data; recognize when arguments based on data are flawed).
  • Related Resources


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