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

A team of students, Madeleine Ratcliffe, Lucy Fellingham and John Allen, 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.

GCSE
Surviving Species
Climate change affects the habitats and environments of many species, some of which won’t be able to adapt fast enough to survive in their
GCSE
Climate Striking Students
The pie chart shows information about students going to a ‘Fridays for Future’ climate strike. 3360 more female students went to the strike than
GCSE
Annual Carbon Dioxide Emissions
The table below shows information about the annual CO2 emissions from 140 cities. a) Work out an estimate for the mean CO2 emissions across
GCSE
There Is No Planet B
Here is a pie chart taken from Mike Berners-Lee’s book There is no Planet B.  a) Calculate angle x. (shown on graph in the
GCSE
Reducing Biodiversity Loss
The graph from the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services shows 3 different scenarios for how we could reduce biodiversity loss
GCSE
A Council Questionnaire
Sean works for a town council. He wants to find out how often people use recyling bins when throwing away paper. He is going
GCSE
UK Energy Usage
The table gives information about how the UK used its energy in 2017. CREDS calculations based on BEIS (2018) Sector Percentage of UK energy