Thursday, November 20, 2008

Test your knowledge: Climate and Energy

These are the multiple choice questions on today's exam in Environmental Sustainability, sections 1 and 2, a junior general education class in the human environmental prospect, including climate change, in which one gened outcome is that students learn and apply quantitative reasoning, hence the math and stats questions applied to climate:

(There are also comprehension and essay sections)

1) The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report defines that the likelihood that a greater area of earth’s surface will be affected by drought in the 21st century as “likely,” meaning that there is a…
a) >99% probability of occurrence
b) 90-99% probability of occurrence
c) 66 to 90% probability of occurrence
d) Likely probability of occurrence

2) According to your instructor, what does the R-squared statistic represent?
a) The slope of the line
b) The probability that the alternate hypothesis is incorrect
c) The proof the experiment is correct
d) In a regression analysis, the amount of change in variable y that can be explained by change in variable x

3) Which of the following might we learn from both dendro-chronology AND pack-rat nest data?
a) The chemical composition of the atmosphere in the past
b) Ecological effects of climate change in specific regions
c) Information relating to past drought and rainfall levels
d) Two of the above
e) All of the above

4) What, according to the instructor, and Professor Kerry Emmanuel of MIT, is the measured effect of climate change on hurricanes so far?
a) There has been an increase in hurricanes
b) There has been an increase in the total energy of hurricanes
c) No change has been measured
d) 66 to 90% probability of occurrence

5) Which of the following dynamic systems are not likely to “go” into a mode of exponential change?
a) Carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere
b) Loan principle when the interest rate is 0.0% and payment is delayed
c) The polar albedo/AAT relationship
d) Two of the above

6) What results from polar albedo reduction
a) Increased oil depletion
b) Reduction of Arctic and Antarctic ice extent
c) Warming land and ocean in the Arctic and Antarctic
d) Two of the above, in a positive feedback system
e) Two of the above, in a homeostatic feedback system

7) NERA stands for
a) Never endure rotten academics
b) New England Regional Average
c) New England Revised Average
d) New England Regional Assessment

8) What is the exact meaning or interpretation of the slope m in a linear regression model of the form C = mY + b used to estimate the rate of increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere over time, where C is carbon dioxide concentration in parts per million, and Y is time in units of years from 1959 - 2008
a) The rate of temperature increase
b) The exponential growth function
c) The average increase in carbon dioxide concentration per year
d) Two of the above

9) Solar photovoltaic power is…
a) Expensive
b) Best placed in desert or other locations with high insolation
c) One of several options for climate mitigation, with pros and cons
d) Lousy in Maine, so you should never try it
e) Three of the above

10) Show and label, the basic form of the Hubbert Peak

c, d, d, b, b, d, d, c, d,

And the Hubbert Peak is a bell or normal curve

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