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ENV-220 (Druckenbrod, Spring_2020)

Weather and Climate Change

Assignment Details

Due Dates:

1. Bring copies of two scientific articles to class on Thursday, Apr 2nd (earlier is fine too) for approval.

2. Your paper will be due on Tuesday, April 28th at 11:59 pm in Canvas and will be checked by  The late policy is a 10 % reduction in grade per week day.

Paper Format (source is Dr. D's Independent Paper Description handout):

Length: 7-9 pages (including references section)

Font: 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced font with margins no greater than 1.25”

Headings: Sections of the paper should follow Roman Numerals I-IV above

Forecast Data: Include a surface pressure map and recent station data (see

References:  References should follow APA format for citations (not for paper sections). 

Guidelines for finding peer-reviewed, scientific articles and for using in-text citations can be found on this Rider Library ENV -220 libguide: 

All material from other sources (anything not written by you) must be properly paraphrased or quoted less than one sentence in length.  If you don’t understand a point made by a scientific paper, don’t just put it in quotes within your paper.  Make sure to ask me to understand it better so that you can paraphrase it appropriately.  Use in-text citations and a reference section to cite your sources. Example in-text citation: The temperature of my city is expected to increase by 2ºC (Jones and Smith 2018).

Project Content

Using your assigned city (see table on next page), you will write a paper with the following sections that analyzes and describes how the atmosphere changes over the following time scales:

  1. Title and Abstract: Summary of current, past, and future climate change for your city
  2. Current: Provide and explain a weather forecast for your city for Thursday, May 2nd (10-2 yrs).
  3. Past: How has the climate for your city changed either over the past century (102 yrs) or since the end of the last ice age (104 yrs)?
  4. Future: How is the climate for your city expected to change over the next hundred years (102 yrs)?

You should use your class notes, websites, and two scientific articles. At least one scientific article should discuss past climate.  For projections of future climate change in the US by region, the US Global Change Research Program writes reports on projected impacts by region (“National Climate Assessments”).  Their most recent report was published in Nov, 2018  ( Use this report to discuss future climate change across the region that your city is located within and use to find past and projected climate data on the specific county or watershed for your city.

For your scientific articles, you should find articles that analyze meteorological, proxy, or computer simulation data. Using your knowledge of meteorology or climate, critique how these data are used to compose explanations of weather or climate around your city.


Independent Paper Rubric (170 pts totals)

  1. Title and Abstract – concise summary of climate at time scales of                                            
    1. Current                                                                                                            /5
    2. Past                                                                                                                 /5
    3. Future                                                                                                              /5


  1. Current Weather Forecast for Saturday – Using the weather data sources provided in Canvas, forecast the following using your knowledge of meteorology:
    1. Surface pressure trend, wind direction, and wind speed                                /7
    2. RH, cloud cover, cloud type, and precipitation                                              /7
    3. Min and max daily temperature                                                                      /7
    4. Agreement of components and overall understanding of forecast                 /9


  1. Past Climate – Discuss the following from at least one peer-reviewed climate article
    1. Summarize hypothesis & methods in your peer-reviewed articles                /8
    2. Summarize results in your peer-reviewed articles                                          /10
    3. Critique the explanation and implications of their findings for your city      /12


  1. Future - Discuss the following from at least one of the US Global Change reports listed by region and/or a peer-reviewed climate article                 
    1. Explain will the climate change for your city/region                                     /10
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of climate projections                                   /10
    3. How does this relate to what you’ve learned about climate?                         /10


  1. Style, Paper requirements, and grammar
    1. Were two acceptable peer-review article presented on April 4th?                  /10
    2. Were two acceptable peer-reviewed article discussed in the paper?              /10
    3. Was the paper organized into sections as instructed?                                    /5
    4. Appropriate in-text citations and paraphrasing?                                             /15
    5. References section included?                                                                         /5
    6. Appropriate length and content in paper?                                                       /10
    7. Was the paper well-written (grammar, punctuation, etc)?                             /10