CLT 1: Why is there a “Climate Debate?” How to interpret data.

At the end of this week, you should be able to:

Determine the best-fit line to actual data related to the Earth’s climate to assess if climate is changing, and suggest a cause using the concepts of correlation and causation.

  1. Given a time dependent data, make a data vs. time plot or given a time plot of a data, find the best-fitting line using spreadsheet software and comment on the type and degree of correlation.

  2. Given the findings of various studies, find the conflicting data and use them to make an argument for global warming.

  3. Given the effects of parameters on the outcome of an experiment, be able to determine the correlation or causation between two parameters.

Go through the following preparation set before this week's lecture. Have your NS102 notebook and a pen at hand while you go through the set.

First, watch the lecture video and take notes while watching! There are some "checkpoint" questions included in the videos. They are NOT quizzes but are only for your self-check and will NOT be graded. You must separately take a quiz after each video, when you can answer all the "checkpoint" questions in the video correctly. It is beneficial for you to watch the videos and take the quizzes in order.

 Virtual lecture slides are available in VL resources!

Read the Syllabus.

All course-related inquiries should be emailed to

Virtual Lecture Set 1: Welcome to the Climate Module!

CLT1 Graphic Organizer (Click to download)

Introduction to the Climate Module [03:48]

Global Warming Discussed [06:18]

Click to navigate to Google Sheets Guidlines "How to Plot Data"

Handling Data, Part 1 [07:16]

Handling Data, Part 2 [06:49]

Causality [03:55]

Weekly Review Problem Set

You are advised to work on these problems each week before you take the Homework assessments (will be available under Tests and Quizzes after the recitations each week):


Click here to see Compiled Reading Materials for Week 1. Topics included: Human impact on the Atmosphere and Climate, Correlations in Data Analysis.

Virtual Lecture:

Active Lecture:


Supplementary Resources (use as needed)

Correlations / Causation

For the Interested

Excel Tutorial

If you need help with basic spreadsheet software (such as Excel), take a look at this tutorial.

Note: Spreadsheet programs (including Google Sheets) are all similar, but they have small differences. This is a tutorial for using LibreOffice Calc or MS Excel.

Google Sheets guidelines – "How to Plot Data"

Go to your gmail account (= sabanciuniv email account). Click on the sign     that appears in the top right corner of your account, and select “Sheets.” Start a Blank new spreadsheet.

Enter the data. Select the columns (or rows) where you have your two parameters that you want to plot.

Plot the data by clicking Insert → Chart… → Chart types → Scatter → Insert. If you have Turkey as the “Locale” in the spreadsheet settings, their default decimal point is a comma (,) instead of a dot (.). So if you have problem plotting, you should try switching between a comma and a dot.

Fitting a Curve and Finding R2

To fit a curve, right click on the chart to open chart editor, and select Customize (or Customization). Go to Series section, then select Trendline. Select the type of line that you think best describes your data (what is it?). Also, click show R2, and select use equation as the label. Then, click Update at the bottom.

To save the spreadsheet with a particular name, click on “Untitled spreadsheet” on the top left corner of your sheet and type the name of the file before you close the sheet. Everything is automatically saved to your google drive.