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Modeling the carbon cycle of the anthropocene part of Activity Collection
Students use an Excel sheet to complete forward and inverse models of changes in carbon distribution between atmosphere, ocean and the biosphere from 1751 to the present and several centuries into the future. The model is given as a mostly complete package, into which students input emissions data in various sensitivity tests.
Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Teaching Methods: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 ...
Glacier (?) National Park part of Teaching Methods:Teaching with SSAC:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum/Geology of National Parks module. Students examine data about the disappearing glaciers in the park; after calculating percentage change in the number of glaciers from 1850 to 2000, they interpolate to estimate when Grinnell glacier will be gone.
What is the fate of CO2 produced by fossil fuel combustion? part of Activity Collection
A box model is used to simulate the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the industrial era and predict the future increase in atmospheric CO2 levels during the next century.
Atmospheric Vertical Structure and the First Law of Thermodynamics part of Activity Collection
This set of homework problems is intended to help students begin to discover the importance and utility of conservation principles derived from the First Law of Thermodynamics and provide a first step in evolving from the p-V diagrams the students have seen in their physics coursework toward the thermodynamic diagrams used in meteorology.
Using a Mass Balance Model to Understand Carbon Dioxide and its Connection to Global Warming part of Activity Collection
Students explore the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 40 years with an interactive on-line model.
Kohler Curves part of Activity Collection
An assignment teaching students about Kohler curves that enhances their quantitative skills.
Mid-level spreadsheeting and complex modeling of real-world scarp evolution part of Activity Collection
This exercise is a second or familiarization exercise in spreadsheeting, but is also a mathematical model for slope evolution. It uses the concept of "erosivity" (generally, the relative ratio of driving and resisting forces) and slope angle to reshape an initial topography. Finally, it asks the students themselves to come up with a real-world situation worth modeling.
An Assessment of Hillslope Stability Using the Factor of Safety part of Activity Collection
In this homework assignment students are asked to consider the balance of forces on a hill slope using the Factor of Safety.
Estimating Exchange Rates of Water in Embayments using Simple Budget Equations. part of 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.