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This is a two part activity, requiring two to three 50-minute class periods. During the first class period, students review the factors affecting tropical cyclone initiation and evolution (role of sea surface temperatures, etc), then examine output from NCAR's Community Climate System Model experiment which tested model climate sensitivity to 4x 1990 atmospheric CO2 levels. In groups, students compare the 4xCO2 experiment with a 1990 Control experiment in terms of surface temperature, upper level winds, and lapse rate in hurricane-prone regions. Each group considers whether tropical cyclones would be more likely to develop in the 4xCO2 experiment, then provides a brief oral report to the class on the result of their discussion. For homework, students read two short journal articles examining the connection between hurricanes and climate change. In preparation for discussion on these articles, students create a brief written summary of the main points in each article and a list of discussion questions. Class discussion is driven by students' written summaries and questions. Students consider the hypotheses developed in the previous class regarding hurricanes in a warmer world in context of what they have read in the articles.
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