Geosci 105 Online
I have randomly selected six measurements collected at the Mauna Loa sampling site between 1986 and 1993 and highlighted the data in light blue. Plot the six points on the given graph below in blue ink or blue pencil. To hand in eventually you will need to scan the graph or use your phone to take a photo of the graph. Based on your data, is CO2 increasing or decreasing? Determine the rate of increase/decrease by calculating the slope of the line (remember back to high school science that slope=?Y/?X or change in y-variable divided by change in x-variable) that best passes through your six data points.
The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is a concern because of it being an important greenhouse gas. High concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contribute to global warming. How many years will it take for the CO2 concentration to double its 1993 content?
I have highlighted six more measurements in red this time for the single year of 1988. Plot these six data points on your graph above.Does this change your interpretation? What new detail is added to the relationship when the more complete data is plotted? Whymight CO2 vary throughout an individual year? Maybe think about photosynthesis by plants where CO2 and H2O are converted into sugars and oxygen.
Below is some of the most recent CO2 data from Mauna Loa. Are CO2 levels higher or lower than those from the last part of the previous table? What is one aspect of global warming that concerns you most?
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