Maths for Planet Earth: Climate Based Questions for students and teachers

A team of students and academics at the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, and Department of Physics, University of Oxford, developed the Maths for Planet Earth questions. They work on climate and energy issues and are passionate about inspiring young people to join the fight against climate change.

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The world needs brainy mathematicians to help tackle climate change.

The aim of these questions is to integrate climate change into the school curriculum beyond the usual suspects of geography and environmental science.

These questions closely follow example problems from GCSE and A level past exams and were developed using existing exam questions. The maths skills tested in the question remained unchanged, but the context of the question was adapted to a climate change theme.

A Level
The movement of a hurricane is modelled by vector h.  It is moving at a speed of 20 kph, with the direction of 165˚
A Level
In this question, all distances are measured in kilometres. 2 deep sea ocean current monitors, A and B, have position vectors (-1, 7, k)
A Level
2 deep sea ocean currents meet. By modelling one current as the positive y axis. a) Find the angle that the second current, with
A Level
a) Use the substitution (u = 4 – sqrt{s}) to show that [int_{}^{}frac{text{dh}}{4 – sqrt{s}} = – 8lnleft| 4 – sqrt{s} right| – 2sqrt{s}
A Level
Deep sea vents can emit harmful gases, such as hydrogen sulphide. Since these bubbles are small, they shrink once they leave the vent, as
A Level
An ocean current separates into 2 different currents at a small island that can be modelled as the origin. Current A heads due south
GCSE
The graph shows satellite measurements of global sea level rise since 2000.  (mm = millimetres) a) Draw a line of best fit through the
GCSE
The increasing global temperature due to human-induced climate change is causing ice in the Arctic to melt, particularly over the summer season, July to
GCSE
Global warming will affect the world’s annual fishing catch. In a world heated by a global warming of 2°C, the annual fishing catch will
GCSE
Global warming will affect the world’s coral reefs. In a world heated by a global warming of 2°C, we will lose 99% of coral
GCSE
The table shows information about sea level rise due to human-induced climate change. (mm = millimetres). Sea level rise in 2006 (mm) Sea level
GCSE
The graph shows satellite measurements of global sea level rise since 2000 plotted relative to 1993. (sea level rise measured in mm = millimetres)
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