The Atmosphere and You Lab Report

The Atmosphere and You Lab Report

Instructions: Record your observations in the lab report below. You will submit your completed report. 

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Objective(s)

In your own words, what was the purpose of the lab? 

Hypothesis

In this section, please include the if/then statements you developed during your lab activity. These statements reflect your predicted outcomes for the experiment. 

Procedure

  1. Complete your hypothesis (above).
  2. Identify the independent (test) variable and the dependent (outcome) variable: __________________________
  3. Practice using the computer model. Select each marker to see what it does. Here is a summary you can refer back to as you complete your experiment. 
    • Carbon Dioxide Emissions Slider: You will use the arrows to change the amounts of carbon emissions. 
    • Time Step Size: This will allow you to view the data every 5 years or every 10 years.
    • Start Over: Use this to reset the model if needed.
  4. The current carbon emissions are 9.8 gigatons, or 9.8 billion tons. Complete all three scenarios to find out what happens to the global temperature if these emissions stay the same, decrease, or increase over the next century. Follow the instructions in the Data section of this report. 

Data

For each scenario, record the carbon dioxide emission rate and the global temperature. The data for the years 1960–2010 are already filled out for you. 

Scenario One: Carbon dioxide emissions stay the same

  • Set the carbon dioxide emissions rate to 9.8 gigatons.
  • Set the time step size to 10 years.
  • Select step forward until you have the data through the year 2110.
  • Record the data in the table below.

Year

Carbon Emissions (gigatons)

Temperature (Fahrenheit)

1960

4.2

57.2

1970

5.8

57

1980

6.2

57.4

1990

7.8

57.6

2000

8

58

2010

9.8

58

Maintain carbon dioxide emissions at 9.8 for the rest of scenario one.

2020

2030

2040

2050

2060

2070

2080

2090

2100

2110

Scenario Two: Carbon dioxide emissions decrease

  • Set the carbon dioxide emissions rate to 9.8 gigatons.
  • Set the time step size to 10 years.
  • Select the step forward button once.
  • Decrease the carbon dioxide emissions by 0.2 and press step forward.
  • Continue stepping forward once, decreasing the carbon emissions each time, until you reach 2110.
  • Record the data in the table below.

Year

Carbon Emissions (gigatons)

Temperature (Fahrenheit)

1960

4.2

57.2

1970

5.8

57

1980

6.2

57.4

1990

7.8

57.6

2000

8

58

2010

9.8

58

Decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 0.2 each step forward for the rest of scenario two.

2020

2030

2040

2050

2060

2070

2080

2090

2100

2110

Scenario Three: Carbon dioxide emissions increase

  • Set the carbon dioxide emissions rate to 9.8 gigatons.
  • Set the time step size to 10 years.
  • Select the step forward button once.
  • Increase the carbon dioxide emissions by 0.2 and press step forward.
  • Continue stepping forward once, increasing the carbon emissions each time, until you reach 2110.
  • Record the data in the table below.

Year

Carbon Emissions (gigatons)

Temperature (Fahrenheit)

1960

4.2

57.2

1970

5.8

57

1980

6.2

57.4

1990

7.8

57.6

2000

8

58

2010

9.8

58

Increase carbon dioxide emissions by 0.2 for each step forward for the rest of scenario three.

2020

2030

2040

2050

2060

2070

2080

2090

2100

2110

Conclusion

Use your data to answer the following questions. Use complete sentences, and be as detailed as possible.

  1. Summarize how the carbon emissions affected the atmospheric temperature in each of the three scenarios: 
    • Scenario One:
    • Scenario Two:
    • Scenario Three:
  2. Was your hypothesis supported by your results or not? Explain how you know.
  3. Explain the difference between the greenhouse effect and global warming.
  4. Based on your knowledge of how the greenhouse effect works, why does the level of carbon dioxide affect the global temperature?
  5. Name three sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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