Sun-Earth System
Value Systems of Nature
- Supplement
Understanding Environmental Issues
- Supplement
Risk & Uncertainty


This exercise is to have you organize what you know about the earth-sun system.

1. Draw a sketch/concept map of the earth-sun system. For the sake of simplicity, concentrate only on the most fundamental interactions and physical quantities given the sun and earth at their present positions. Ignore effects due to people or the atmosphere.


Do the reading from
"The Coevolution of Climate and Life"
before you do the next parts.


2. Now draw a second map: Add to the above the atmosphere of the earth, and draw a diagram that shows the atmosphere and the relevant features of the earth-atmosphere-sun system without people.

3. List the factors that you would add if we now add people to this system. Consider only the major factors to add to this system taking into account only phenomena on a global scale at a point in time indicated:

(a) 100,000 years ago (Neanderthal period)

(b) in 1990

4. What phenomena related to the atmosphere are the most striking additions in 1990, compared to earlier years? Which of these appeared in your 10 important issues in Assignment 1? What are the sources of these phenomena?

  ©Copyright 2003 Carnegie Mellon University
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 9653194. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.