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Experimental Design Project

By: Jonathan Grenier, Emma-Li Kissinger, & Kyle Walker


Who: Global warming
What: The increase in Earths average surface
temperature due to the effect of greenhouse gases which
trap heat
Where: All of Earth
When: The Industrial Revolution is often cited as the
beginning of humans influencing global warming.
Why: Increased greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2
and CH4, from increased fossil fuel usage deforestation,
landfills, etc.

What
does this
mean for
sustainability?

Human activities of an
increasing population are leading to
the extremely rapid degradation of our
environment. Global warming, in particular,
can impact human and animal communities by
threatening food and water availabilities. This
leads to loss of biodiversity, loss of soil, and,
overall, an unsustainable environment.

How does global warming work?

According to Nova Southeastern University,


the primary cause of global warming is the
greenhouse effect. Like global warming, this
is a natural phenomenon. As sunlight hits
the earth, some heat is reflected back into
space, while some is absorbed by greenhouse

gases.

Experiment explanation:

Hypothesis:

If temperature trends in Carmel,


In our experiment, we are
Indiana are compared with energy
comparing temperature trends
usage trends at Carmel High
in Carmel, Indiana to the
School, then the result would be
energy usage, in Btu, used by
that in more extreme weather
Carmel High School seasonally
conditions, hot and cold, the
for 15 years.
energy usage would increase.
Year

Spring
Temperature

(Mar, Apr, May)

Spring
Energy Use

(Mar, Apr, May)

2000

51.93 3325 Btu

2001

50.88 3529 Btu

2002

49.23 3472 Btu

2003

48.13 3036 Btu

2004

53.88 3880 Btu

2005

49.87 4239 Btu

2006

49.34 3983 Btu

2007

3938 Btu

2008

3798 Btu

2009

3937 Btu

2010

3705 Btu

2011

3452 Btu

2012

3999 Btu

2013

3858 Btu

2014

3958 Btu

2015

Independent variable:
Seasonal average
temperatures in Carmel,
Indiana
Dependent variable: Seasonal
energy usage in Btu at Carmel
High School

Summer
Temperature
(Jun, Jul, Aug)

Summer
Energy Use

(Jun, Jul, Aug)

Fall
Temperature
(Sep, Oct, Nov)

Biases: Because of what we


have always learned through
school, the internet, and the
news, we are expecting a
certain outcome which
might affect the way we
interpret our data

Fall Energy
Use

(Sep, Oct, Nov)

Winter
Temperature
(Dec, Jan, Feb)

Winter
Energy Use

(Dec, Jan, Feb)

Methodology: This is the best


methodology. However, if youre
wanting to look at the whole U.S.,
the best way is to gather data
from schools similar in size to
Carmel in different regions and
compare them. This method
would, at least, provide a general
trend for the U.S.

What should the next step be?


The next step would be to go back further than 15 years and
continue to plot data in the future. By going back, you would
expect to find a temperature and electricity correlation,
meaning that in more extreme temperatures, the electricity
would increase. By going forward with the experiment past
2015, you would also expect to find the continuation of the
correlation. Another step would be to plot out everything
monthly rather than seasonally. This would allow you to go
more in-depth with the data.

What does this


mean for Carmel
High School and
where can we go
from here?

Sources:

With this data, we


can help the school
realize where its using excess
energy by comparing the current
temperatures to the pasts. If theyre
similar, and were using more energy now
than then, we can access where and when
we can save energy. By doing this, the
school has the opportunity to save energy
while also saving money at the same
time. Overall, this would create a
healthier environment by
using less fossil fuels.

Carmel High School (2015, March). Place Energy Usage per Area.
Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Midwest (2009, July). Union of Concerned Scientists. Retrieved from http://www.ucsusa.org/
global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/climate-change-midwest.html#.VVICwW3D_IU.
Energy (2013). Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/energy.html
Heating and cooling no longer majority of U.S. home energy use (2013, March 7). Energy Information Administration. Retrieved from
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10271.
Lynch, Patrick (2010, February 23.). Cold Snaps Plus Global Warming Do Add Up. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Retrieved from http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/coldweather-2009.html.
Winter versus Summer Electricity Usage (2013). Cooler Planet. Retrieved from http://blog.coolerplanet.com/2013/01/04/winter-vssummer-electrical-usage/