A classroom/laboratory activity to learn and apply polynomial differentiation and to solve tangent line problems for global average CO2 data.
Students will observe the trend in increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, infer when atmospheric CO2 levels could cause global temperatures to increase by 2 °C (potentially leading to serious climate-change related problems), and determine rates of change of CO2 levels by performing polynomial differentiation and solving tangent line problems. They will use atmospheric CO2 data from the Mauna Loa site for the period 1950 to 2017.
Use this tool to help your students find answers to:
|Mauna Loa Yearly Average CO2
|Mathematics and Statistics
|Topic(s) in Discipline
|Functions, Calculus, Differentiation, Polynomial Differentiation, Tangent Line Problem
|Climate and the Anthroposphere, Climate Variability Record
|Type of tool
|High School, Undergraduate
|Thomas J. Pfaff, Ithaca College