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Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...
Estimating Exchange Rates of Water in Embayments using Simple Budget Equations. part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Simple budgets may be used to estimate the exchange of water in embayments that capitalize on the concept of steady state and conservation principals. This is especially true for bays that experience a significant exchange of freshwater. This exchange of freshwater may reduce the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if it involves addition of freshwater from rivers, R, and/or precipitation, P. Alternatively, it may increase the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if there is relatively little river input and high evaporation, E. Since freshwater input changes the salt concentration in the bay, and salt is a conservative material, it is possible to combine two steady state budgets for a bay, one for salt and one for water, to solve for the magnitude of the water flows that enter and exit the bay mouth. Students will make actual calculations for the inflow and outflow of water to Puget Sound, Washington and the Mediterranean Sea and compare them to actual measured values.
Carbon Dioxide Exercise part of Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students work in groups, plotting carbon dioxide concentrations over time on overheads and estimating the rate of change over five years. -
The Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record part of Teaching with Data:Examples
Students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric CO2. -
See the activity page for details.
When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine (College Level) part of Teaching with GIS:Examples
College-level adaptation of the Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter. Students explore the critical role phytoplankton play in the marine food web. -
Gulf Anoxia Course Project part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this activity students work in groups to investigate the problem of Gulf of Mexico hypoxia before developing mitigation strategies based on local contriubtions to the problem. The students present their ideas in a public meeting debate format from which a solution must be selected by the entire class.
Mass Balance Model part of Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
Students are introduced to the concept of mass balance, flow rates, and equilibrium using an online interactive water bucket model. -
Carbon Sequestration in Campus Trees part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students use allometric relationships to calculate tree mass from trunk diameter in a stand of trees in the Pacific Northwest.
Environmental Footprint part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This activity has students do a web-based environmental footprint quiz and integrate their results into a class mean. The students compare their results by creating a bar graph and do some simple calculations to see how much of the Earth just the population of the US requires.
Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.