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AP Environmental Science

Lab: Global Climate Change Lab Text Version


Global Climate Change Lab
As you complete this lab activity, please fill in the AP Environmental
Science Lab Write-up with the appropriate information and data.
The purpose of this lab is to:

Identify natural climate shifts in geologic history

Summarize evidence for climate change

Describe climate change effects on the biosphere

Differentiate between human-induced and natural climate


change

Describe practical actions to take to mitigate human-induced


climate change

Before conducting your trials of the Water Sustainability lab, review the
following descriptions for each lab variable.

Greenhouse Forcing: This controls the trapping of


long wavelength (heat) radiation by the atmosphere. It is
zero if the trapping of long wavelength radiation is near the
present day value (this doesn't mean no trapping - if there
were no trapping of long wavelength radiation the Earth
would be much colder than it is now). If this is greater than
zero the amount of trapping is increased.

Rise time: The amount of time in years that it takes for


the greenhouse forcing to rise from zero to the value
specified by the "Greenhouse Forcing" parameter. A rise time
of 0 will cause the greenhouse forcing to begin immediately.

Feedback: This controls the feedback due to warming


induced changes in the Earth. A positive value indicates

positive feedback, while a negative value indicates negative


feedback
Before you begin, form a hypothesis that predicts the outcomes of this
experiment. Complete the predictions below and place them into your AP
Environmental Science Lab Report.Prediction 1: If we increase the
greenhouse forcing variable, the surface temperature will Prediction 2: If
we increase the feedback variable, the surface temperature will

Top of Form

Its time to test your first prediction. Increase the Greenhouse Forcing
variable. What happens? What is the maximum surface temperature and
when does it occur? Place these values into the first data chart of your AP
Environmental Science Lab Report.
Table #1
There is an interactive line graph and an image that displays the
greenhouse forcing has on the surface temperature. The graph that depicts
the greenhouse forcing and surface temperature over a period of time.
Students are able to adjust the greenhouse forcing to: 0.1, 0.5, and 0.0
and observe the impact this has on the surface temperature. The scale on
the x-axis displays the time in years and ranges from 0-100 years. The
scale on the y-axis displays the surface temperature and goes from 10-30
degrees Celsius. In trial 1 the change over time indicates that over the
course of 100 years, the surface temperature starts at 15 degrees Celsius
and reaches a surface temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, only to level out
at 16 degrees Celsius from 20-100 years. During trial 2 the change over
time indicates that over the course of 100 years, the surface temperature
starts at 15 degrees Celsius and reaches a surface temperature of 15.5
degrees Celsius from 10-100 years. During trial 3 the change over time
indicates that over the course of 100 years, the surface temperature starts
at 15 degrees Celsius and remains at that temperature for the entire time.

The data on the graphs for each of the three trials in Table # 1 shows the
following:
Default simulation values: Greenhouse forcing = 0.1, Rise time = 0,
Feedback = -0.05
Independent variable: Greenhouse ForcingDependent variable: Surface
Temperature
Table 1 Trial # 1 (Greenhouse Forcing = 0.1):
Time

Average
Surface
Temp., C

Effective
Atmospheric
Temp., C

Albedo

15

-17

0.30

10

15.9

-14.6

0.35

20

16.0

-14.6

0.35

50

16.0

-14.6

0.35

80

16.0

-14.6

0.35

100

16.0

-14.6

0.35

Table 1 Trial # 2 (Greenhouse Forcing = 0.05):


Time

Average
Surface
Temp., C

Effective
Atmospheric
Temp., C

Albedo

15

-17

0.30

10

15.5

-15.7

0.32

20

15.5

-15.7

0.32

50

15.5

-15.7

0.32

80

15.5

-15.7

0.32

100

15.5

-15.7

0.32

Table 1 Trial # 3 (Greenhouse Forcing = 0.00):


Time

Average
Surface
Temp., C

Effective
Atmospheric
Temp., C

Albedo

15

-17

0.30

10

15

-17

0.30

20

15

-17

0.30

50

15

-17

0.30

80

15

-17

0.30

100

15

-17

0.30

Table # 2
Its time to test your second prediction. Change the feedback variable.
What happens? What is maximum surface temperature and when does it
occur? Place these values into the second data chart of your AP
Environmental Science Lab Report.
There is an interactive line graph and an image that displays the feedback
has on the surface temperature. The graph that depicts the feedback and
surface temperature over a period of time. Students are able to adjust the
feedback to: -0.05, 0.0, and 0.05 and observe the impact this has on the
surface temperature. The scale on the x-axis displays the time in years and
ranges from 0-100 years. The scale on the y-axis displays the surface
temperature and goes from 10-30 degrees Celsius. In trial 1 the change
over time indicates that over the course of 100 years, the surface
temperature starts at 15 degrees Celsius and reaches a surface
temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, only to level out at 16 degrees Celsius

from 20-100 years. During trial 2 the change over time indicates that over
the course of 100 years, the surface temperature starts at 15 degrees
Celsius and reaches a surface temperature of 20.3 degrees Celsius from
50-100 years. During trial 3 the change over time indicates that over the
course of 100 years, the surface temperature starts at 15 degrees Celsius
and reaches a surface temperature of 24.8 degrees Celsius from 80-100
years. The data on the graphs for each of the three trials in Table # 2 shows
the following:
Default simulation values: Greenhouse forcing = 0.1, Rise time = 0,
Feedback = -0.05Independent variable: Feedback Dependent variable:
Surface Temperature
Table 2 Trial # 1 (Feedback = -0.05):
Time

Average
Surface
Temp., C

Effective
Atmospheric
Temp., C

Albedo

15

-17

0.30

10

15.9

-14.6

0.35

20

16.0

-14.6

0.35

50

16.0

-14.6

0.35

80

16.0

-14.6

0.35

100

16.0

-14.6

0.35

Table 2 Trial # 2 (Feedback = 0.0):


Time

Average
Surface
Temp., C

Effective
Atmospheric
Temp., C

Albedo

15

-17

0.30

10

17.7

-13.3

0.30

20

19.1

-12.3

0.30

50

20.3

-11.4

0.30

80

20.3

-11.4

0.30

100

20.3

-11.4

0.30

Table 2 Trial # 3 (Feedback = 0.05):


Time

Average
Surface
Temp., C

Effective
Atmospheric
Temp., C

Albedo

15

-17

0.30

10

20

-11.7

0.25

20

22.6

-9.8

0.25

50

24.6

-8.2

0.25

80

24.8

-8.1

0.25

100

24.8

-8.1

0.25

Assessment
Generic AP Science Lab Write-Up Format
Title: including your name, teachers name, date, and name of lab
Objective(s): What was the main purpose of the lab?
Introduction: What background information is necessary to know before
completing this lab? What scientific concepts are being examined?
Procedure: What steps did you take to complete the lab? Clearly define the
dependent/independent variable and the control group.
Data: Data tables and graphs in this section.
Conclusion: Generally the conclusion will include a summary of the lab
results, an interpretation of the results, and any experimental errors should

be reported and analyzed. There may be lab questions that need to be


answered here.
Data and Observations
In the Data portion of the AP Science Lab report, create 3 separate Data
tables to display the following:
Table 1: Greenhouse Forcing and Surface Temperature
Time

Averag
e
Surfac
e
Temper
ature,
C

Effectiv
e
Atmos
pheric
Temper
ature,
C

Albedo

Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Table 2: Feedback and Surface Temperature
Time

Trial 1
Trial 2

Average
Surface
Temperatu
re, C

Effective
Albedo
Atmospher
ic
Temperatu
re, C

Trial 3
Analysis and Conclusion:
Its time to analyze your data. Generally the conclusion will include a
paragraph summary of the lab results including specific data from the
experiment, an interpretation of the results (rationale for your hypothesis;
discuss the independent and dependent variables; explanation of result
outcome; describe what could be done differently during another trial), and
any experimental errors should be reported and analyzed. There may be
lab questions that need to be answered here as well as, how can the lab be
applied to your life and/or the real world?
Its time to analyze your data. Reflect on the following questions and record
your answers in the conclusion of your lab report:
1. 1.

Identify some sources, control strategies, and human health


effects of global climate change?

2. 2.

What is the role of greenhouse forcing on global climate


change?

3. 3.

What factors can reduce global climate change? What factors


can increase global climate change?

4. 4.

What is the difference between positive and negative feedback?


What impact do these have on global climate change?

5. 5.

What impact does albedo have on global climate change?