Project 2, Fall 2010
Many environmental issues are quite controversial. Increasingly, the World Wide Web (WWW), or
Internet, is used as a source of information. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the sources used are
reputable and of good quality. An important issue in using Internet resources is the correct citation of the
sources used. As with journal or book sources, there is more than one style of citation. Differences also exist
between the way in which scientific writers cite sources and those writing in other areas, such as the
humanities, cite sources. One reasonable on-line source, available as of 8/24/10 is:
Bedford/St. Martin Press, “Citation Styles Online!”, April 02, 2003,
> (24 August 2010).
They use the Council of Science Editors in Scientific Style and Format. Two citations are required, In-text
and Reference List. For this project, the In-text citation should use the name-year system. For the Reference
List, again use the name-year format. Note that
is a foreign phrase and should be italicized.
You may use their guidelines for the various types of sources. Electronic sources require a somewhat
different format than journal articles, books, etc. At least two dates are required - the date written or last
modified, and the citation date (sometimes called last date accessed). Some web pages contain explicit date
information on the page, others hide it in "meta-data" not visible on the page. Using a browser like Mozilla
Firefox, you can view "Page Info" (under the Tools menu). This often contains the date written or modified.
Caution: some web pages are coded to return the current date in this space, which is almost certainly not the
true last date modified. If you make a diligent search for the date, but cannot find it, list "date unknown" for
the date written. You must provide the citation date (the last date you viewed the page) for all references.
Climate modeling is useful in pointing out areas of weakness in our knowledge. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made predictions of future sea-level rise. These
estimates list a range of numbers. So far, actual sea-level rise has been at the top of their estimates, or has
exceeded their estimates. In the Fourth Assessment report, IPCC appeared to be decreasing their estimates of
sea-level rise, but actually this was an artifact of removing what the Third Assessment Report (2001) called
"ice dynamic uncertainty” and making it a separate category in the Fourth Assessment Report. Indeed, our
knowledge of ice melting in areas such as Greenland and Antarctica has increased substantially because of
research spurred in part by the IPCC assessments, but remains inadequate to make fully accurate estimates of
future sea-level rise. (A discussion may be found in Rahmsdorf
The "ice dynamic uncertainty" refers to our lack of knowledge about the manner in which ice sheets