Carbon
Dioxide Concentration

What
is the greenhouse effect?

Which
gases are greenhouse gases?

How
has the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide changed in the
last century?

What
are some of the effects of increased concentration of carbon dioxide?
For
additional information, click .
The
graph shown provides information about the atmospheric concentration
of
carbon dioxide since 1960, measured in parts per million.

What
trends do you observe from the data?

Do
you think these trends will continue in the near future?

What
kind of functions (linear, quadratic, exponential, etc.) would
accurately
describe the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the
last 40 years?

On
the average, how much is the concentration changing each year?
Acquisition
Mathematical Topics:Learn or review mathematical concepts and
skills needed
to study trends in atmospheric CO2 concentration. See the menu at
the left.
Application
:Apply mathematical concepts and use appropriate technology to
analyze past trends.
Information
The table below
provides information on carbon dioxide concentration for selected
years.
Year 
1960 
1965 
1970 
1975 
1980 
1985 
1990 
1995 
2000 
Concentration
(ppm) 
316.75 
319.87 
325.52 
330.99 
338.52 
345.73 
354.04 
360.91 
369.40 

For
convenience, we will let t denote years since 2000; that is, t=0
in 2000. Let C denote
the carbon dioxide concentration. Make points out of the data and
plot them;
use a (t,C) coordinate system.

Use
linear regression to fit the data with a linear function. Call this
function C(t) and graph it.

For
each of the years you have data provided, compare the actual carbon
dioxide
concentration with the concentration predicted by your function.
Why do you think the
figures are different?

Use the function C(t) to answer these questions.

a.
Estimate the carbon dioxide concentration in 1993.

b.
Predict when the carbon dioxide concentration will reach 400
ppm.

c.
At what rate is the carbon dioxide concentration increasing?
5.
Until recently, the carbon dioxide concentration stayed at about 280
ppm.

a.
According to your model, when was the concentration at this level?

b.
When will the concentration reach double that level?
Save
this information. You will use it in part II
Continue to
Next Part

