Ice Ages and Climate Dynamics
Discuss the causes of ice ages on Earth and determine if Mars experiences similar climate dynamics as Earth.
- Observe ice ages through time and provide an explanation for icehouse/greenhouse periods.
- Determine if Mars goes through similar Earth climate change
- Distinguish between different drivers of climate change at different scales
- Form an informed opinion regarding global warming
Context for Use
It is advisable that students are familiar with basic lithology and mineralogy to be successful in these activities and homework sets. This learning module may be utilized in any course where global warming and climate change are discussed.
Description and Teaching Materials
Compiled In-Class Activities and Homework
- In-Class Activity 1: Ice Ages Through Time
- Homework 1: Ice on Mars
- Homework alternate: Make up your own exercise on global warming, or use other existing resources such as those on the SERC webpage: http://serc.carleton.edu/climatechange/index.html
Teaching Notes and Tips
- The In-Class activities do not need an image file
- Infuse data from http://climate.nasa.gov/
- Students can make graphs of change over time, focus on a specific region, compare Arctic and Antarctic, etc.....
- They can also compare Earth's poles to Mars poles OR evidence of ice on both planets
- It is advisable that students understand that Mars' axial tilt can change prior to completing Homework 1. This will enable students to properly evaluate the affect of Milankovitch cycles on Mars climate.
Methods of assessment are within each individual In-Class Activity and Homework.
References and Resources