The Geritol Solution

Instructor's Learning Objectives

  1. The use of CO2 in photosynthesis.
  2. The role of pigments such as chlorophyll in photosynthesis.
  3. The life histories and nutritional requirements of marine phytoplankton, and their role in the marine food chain.
  4. The nature of the global carbon cycle and its relationship to atmospheric CO2 formation, burning of fossil fuels, photosynthesis, and respiration.
  5. The greenhouse effect - what it is, and the factors that can contribute to it.
This problem was based on an article by Robert Kunzig in the April, 1991 issue of Discover magazine entitled, "Earth on Ice."

Since this problem was first written, the "geritol solution" has been tested twice. If you're interested in the outcome (did it work?), see J.H. Martin et al., Nature 371: 123, 1994; and R. Montastersky, Science News 148: 220, 1995.

Last updated Nov. 22, 1996.
Copyright Deborah Allen, Univ. of Delaware, 1996.