Modeling Early Earth Climate with GEEBITT

In this activity, students gain experience using a spreadsheet and working with others to decide how to conduct their model 'experiments' with the NASA GEEBITT (Global Equilibrium Energy Balance Interactive Tinker Toy). While becoming more familiar with the physical processes that made Earth's early climate so different from that of today, they also acquire first-hand experience with a limitation in modeling, specifically, parameterization of critical processes.

Go To:

Cindy Shellito
On the Cutting Edge Collection - Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Activity takes one 50-minute class period. Computer access and special software is required.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

There are two assigned readings from Scientific American that should be linked from the activity for easy access:

"When Methane Made Climate" is available online at of May 11, 2011) or of July 30, 2011)

"Snowball Earth" is available online at (as of July 30, 2011)

Both are also available through the website for a fee.

Activity handout and instructors notes are provided but the instructions are not as detailed as many educators and students might need.