Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Modeling the carbon cycle of the anthropocene part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This computer lab exercise allows students to investigate the consequences of fossil fuel burning and land use change on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Students work with a simple numerical model of the carbon cycle which is rendered in Excel, and conduct a set of different sensitivity tests with different amounts and rate of C additions, and then graph and discuss their results. In the recommended approach, the model is provided to students without the biosphere and in class the formulas to integrate this module are typed into Excel simultaneously by instructor and students, helping students understand how the larger model is set up.