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ENERGY TRANSFER: ALBEDO, ICE CAPS, SEA-LEVEL RISE, AND

EXPANSION
05/13/2014


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Energy Transfer: Albedo, Ice Caps, Sea-
level Rise, and Expansion
Learning Activity (Grades 9-11)
What Is This Assignment?
In this assignment, students will learn about connections between albedo, ice caps, sea-level
rise, and expansion. A previous lesson on the topic should have been given prior to this assignment.
Students will also learn about the ice-albedo feedback effect as it relates to snow, ice, and the likely
results of reduced snow and ice over on global temperature. Students will make connections between
the topic, climate change, and how it will affect humans, plant, and all life on earth. This assignment will
connect to topics within sciences (ex. biology, chemistry, and physics), engineering, geology,
climatology, fashion, and many other subjects.
Requirements:
The student participating/observing this activity must:
 Formulate a hypothesis about the connections between albedo, ice caps, sea-level rise, and
expansion, and how they relate to global warming and the ice-albedo feedback effect.
 Observe/set-up an activity to test his or her hypothesis
 Make a conclusion based on the activity conducted
 Have an understanding of how albedo, ice caps, sea-level rise, and expansion relates to global
warming, global temperatures, and reduced snow and ice cover in the Arctic
Time Limit:
Students will have a time limit of 10 minutes to complete this handout and activity. The activity
and handout will then be taken up by the instructor in which the students how need extra time may use
it to complete this handout. The handout must then be handed in to the instructor for marking.
Materials:
 Desk lamp with a 400-watt bulb (1)
 Fresh water ice cube (1)
 Fresh water ice cube infused with black carbon powder, or fine, black coloured fertilizer (1)
 Infrared thermometer (1)
 Metal tray (1)
 0°C salt water (250ml)
 Pencil (1)
 Paper (1)
 Worksheet (1)
 Fresh water (250ml)
By: Simmon Thind
ENERGY TRANSFER: ALBEDO, ICE CAPS, SEA-LEVEL RISE, AND
EXPANSION
05/13/2014


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 Black carbon powder, or fine, black-coloured fertilizer (50-100g)
 Small, empty cup (2)
Procedure:
Students must work in pairs (or observe the activity being conducted by the instructor) to
complete the following lab.
1. Freeze one ice cube (of average size) using fresh water contained in the cup.
2. Place the fresh water filled cup in a freezer (kept at a constant temperature of -18°C).
3. As the first ice cylinder is being cooled, prepare your second ice cylinder for freezing. Fill up half
of one cup with black carbon powder (or fine, black-coloured fertilizer).
4. Fill the rest of the cup with fresh water.
5. Mix the two compounds.
6. Place the filled cup in a freezer (kept at a constant temperature of -18°C).
7. Let both ice cylinders cool within the freezer for 2 hours. If ice cylinders are not frozen after 2
hours, leave for another 30 minutes. Continue until frozen.
8. While both ice cylinders are being frozen, prepare your workplace for the activity.
9. Get your metal tray and place it on a flat surface.
10. Get your desk lamp with a 400-watt bulb and place it over head the metal tray. Make sure the
light is being distributed evenly across the tray by testing the lamp (by turning it on). The lamp
should be about 11” above the tray (the length of this page)
11. Place enough salt water in the tray so that 1/3 of the tray is full of it.
12. Place the fresh water ice in the tray so that they are even (same side up, same distance from
sides, etc.)
13. Place the thermometers in each of the ice cylinders in the holes at the sides (drill a small incision
into the side of each ice cylinder up to the middle, starting from the center).
14. Wait 2 minutes for the thermometers to adjust to the surrounding air, influenced by the ice.
15. Turn on the lamp.
16. Record readings from the thermometers every 10 seconds in the table provided.
17. Record data until the ice melts or until 2 minutes of recording.
18. Make your observations and fill out the worksheet below.
Hypothesis:
Make a hypothesis about what the data will contain. Which thermometer will get warmer, or colder?
How will the temperature of the thermometer change overtime? Explain.




ENERGY TRANSFER: ALBEDO, ICE CAPS, SEA-LEVEL RISE, AND
EXPANSION
05/13/2014


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Data Recording:
Follow the procedure notes for instructions. Record the data in Celsius below.
Thermometer Starting 10
sec.
20
sec.
30
sec.
40
sec.
50
sec.
60
sec.
70
sec.
80.
sec.
90
sec.
100
sec.
110
sec.
120
sec.
White
Black
Observations:
Students must now see the increase in temperature for each thermometer.
Thermometer Final
Temperature
+
Starting
Temperature
=
Increase In
Temperature
White
Black

Graphing:
Graph the data recorded. Use a line graph as a template. Remember to use different colours to
distinguish the two thermometers. Remember to label appropriately.









Analysis:
Which thermometer had the highest temperature? Which had the lowest? Why?



ENERGY TRANSFER: ALBEDO, ICE CAPS, SEA-LEVEL RISE, AND
EXPANSION
05/13/2014


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Which cylinder of ice had a higher albedo? How do you know?



What did you observe in the sea water? Did it expand? How and why?



Conclusion:
Make a conclusion, based on your analysis and observations, about how albedo, ice caps, sea-
level rise, and expansion are related and relate to the ice-albedo feedback effect, global temperatures,
and global warming. Was your hypothesis correct? Support your conclusion with examples and
reasoning.






Please hand-in your lab once it is completed. Thank you for your hard work. You deserve gold stars!