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

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Ideally, students would work in small groups (2-4) so that students less comfortable with data analysis can be paired with students more comfortable using Excel.

Review the equations used in the activity to advance students' knowledge of statistical analysis.

Final discussion on the implication of the data would be a great assessment where an educator could tie in discussions about relevance of the research to present-day climate change research.

The lab report is also an excellent assessment vehicle.