Vostok Ice Core: Excel (Mac or PC)

This activity with a lab report instructs students to solve and plot 160,000 years' worth of ice core data from the Vostok ice core using Excel or similar spreadsheets to analyze data. Students learn about ice cores and what they can tell us about past atmospheric conditions and the past atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4.

Go To:

Stephanie Pfirman
Starting Point Collection, Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Activity takes three to four hours (either homework assignment or lab activity.)

Notes From Our Reviewers

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Outdated Excel tutorials and help pages are offered in the activity. Educators should look for updated tutorials if necessary.

Links within the activity to current temperature data, and carbon dioxide and methane levels do not work. NOAA's Earth System Research Lab monitors this data, which can be accessed for 2010 here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/

The World Data Center (WDC) link on the Starting Point page is also not working. You can get to the data by clicking on the Paleoclimatology link on the WDC site which can be found here: http://gcmd.gsfc.nasa.gov/KeywordSearch/Home.do?Portal=wdc&MetadataType=0