Environmental Oceanography: Topics and Analysis
For Students

Issues Questions

Please read each question below and type your response into each corresponding box. When you are finished, fill out your name, e-mail address, and instructor's e-mail at the bottom of this form, and click submit to send a copy to your instructor.


1:  Describe the association between CO2 and temperature for the past 120 years.

2:  How would the Earth’s climate be different between a circular orbit and a strongly elliptical orbit?

3:  Explain the dilemma posed by the “lag time” between onset of warming and increase in CO2 during the cycles of the past 600,000 years.

4:  Does this lag time mean that CO2 increase from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and so forth is not the cause of the past several hundred years of warming? Why or why not?

5:  When did scientifi c data begin to be presented that humans were altering the climate?

6:  When did Roger Revelle publish his groundbreaking papers? What was the importance of Revelle’s 1977 conclusion about the ability of the oceans to absorb CO2?

7:  When did Hansen state that a “high degree of confi dence” existed about the relation between climate change and human-produced CO2?

8:  What is the range of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections of global temperature increase to 2100 shown in Figure I 4-6?

9:  Summarize the main points in this Issue, especially the difference between the Milankovitch-induced controls on premodern climate and the human-induced climate change of the past 200 years.

10:  What is the depth of the circumpolar current (CC) described by the researcher around the edge of Antarctica?

11:  What did the researcher say was happening to the CC?

12:  What is the apparent effect of this change on the ice sheets on the border of Antarctica?

13:  If all the ice on Antarctica were to melt, how high would sea level rise?

14:  What additional data may have to be considered to revise the prevailing estimates of a 1-meter rise in sea level by 2100?

15:  Explain why Dr. Rignot did not concur that the situation was “more alarming than we thought” and why he thought that the scientifi c community was conservative in their estimates of sea level rise. If necessary, review the introductory section on the nature of science (Chapter 1).

16:  What are the objectives of the climate scientists working on the Joides Resolution?

17:  At the location of the drill ship during the program, how different was sea level during the “Wisconsin” glacial period compared with today?

18:  What was the southern boundary of the “Laurentide” ice sheet 16,000 years ago?

19:  What is the raw material from which the ship is extracting information about climate and environment?

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