School: Santa Fe High
Area of Science: Environmental Science
Interim: Problem Definition:
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are at an all-time high in the United States. This is in large part due to Americans increased use of cars, products produced by factories, and energy obtained from fossil fuels. If the levels keep increasing or even remain at the state they are at, the state of the environment will decline. Air quality will fall, and temperatures will rise. If something isn't done to lessen the use of CO2 our environment will suffer, and many of the things we have now will die out.
Our solution to the problem will be trading in cars for electric cars, factories buying their energy from renewable sources, and cities being powered by renewable sources instead of fossil fuel plants. The change will not occur all at once as that is not how it would happen in the real world but rather it will happen over years, and maybe even decades. Even after everything is running off of a renewable source the pollution will stay and we will model how long it takes for the CO2 to diffuse and disappear.
Progress to Date.
We have all the agents modeled in our environment. The cars are represented by turtles and move/produce CO2 based on the level of usage determined by the user of the program. Factories and Power Plants are also represented by turtles and are based on usage determined by the user, however, they are stationary. Trees and plants are stationary and remove CO2 clouds when the clouds move on the same patch as a plant/tree. CO2 clouds are represented by turtles and form based on the levels of CO2 produced by cars. We are currently implementing a way to have the polluters convert to renewable sources based on input by the user.
If the program runs correctly we should expect to see a mass rise in air pollution when the polluters are running off fossil fuels. As they switch to renewable we should see the pollution amount per day go down but the overall pollution remains at similar levels as the old pollution will still be in the air. As years pass and more and more polluters convert to renewable sources the total pollution levels will gradually fall.
EPA website and reports.
US National Parks Service articles on pollution.
US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health article on how pollution affects health.
National Geographic Societies articles on pollution.
Science Daily's articles on pollution.
Mason Nichols, Owen Attlesey
Sponsoring Teacher: Brian Smith
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