created by Ashley Maloney, UW Oceanography (2012) with support from NASA Global Climate Change Education.
The Ice Core Lab is a fun hands-on supplement to the Natural Variability Unit. A solid understanding of timescales is crucial when talking about climate change; this lab allows students to study changes in Earth’s atmospheric composition on the millennial timescale.
Two versions of this lab are available; the first is a more in-depth version, drafted by Ashley specifically for the UWHS ATMS 211 course. The second version is a NASA general use lab adapted from the UWHS lab.
- How do we know about Earth’s climate before the instrumental record?
- What is a proxy?
- What timescale do ice cores capture?
- Why is it important to understand Earth’s past climate?
- To understand how scientists use ice cores to get information about Earth’s past climate.
- To learn what a proxy is by using marbles as a proxy for CO2 concentration.
- To become familiar with natural CO2 and temperature variability on millennial timescales by graphing ice core data.
- To notice how CO2 and temperature co-vary during glacial-interglacial cycles by graphing the temperature anomaly data alongside the CO2 data.
- To compare atmospheric CO2 levels during the past 800,000 years to modern CO2 levels by graphing the instrumental data.