Climate Prediction

The Nuffield Foundation provides this activity which students use to create spreadsheets that model what would happen to the temperature of the Earth if there were to be a sudden change in the amount of radiation entering or leaving the planet. Students then investigate polynomial and exponential functions to find the best model.

Before doing this activity students will need to have learnt how to use a spreadsheet to:

*write spreadsheet formulae involving both relative and absolute cell references

*draw graphs

*use trendlines to find polynomial regression lines.

Students will also need to know how to enter numbers in standard form into a spreadsheet.

There are two versions of this activity, Climate A assumes students have access to Excel spreadsheets, whilst Climate B is an alternative paper-based activity requiring use of a graphic calculator.

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This resource is part of Nuffield Free-standing Mathematics Activities