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From Isotopes to Temperature: Working With A Temperature Equation
In this activity, students will use oxygen isotope values of two species of modern coral to reconstruct ambient water temperature over a four-year period. They use Microsoft Excel, or similar application, to create a spreadsheet of temperature values calculated from the isotope values of the corals by means of an algebraic equation. Students then use correlation and regression techniques to determine whether isotope records can be considered to be good proxies for records of past temperatures.
Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education
Activity takes about two lab periods or can be done as a homework assignment. Computer with Excel software is required.
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