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Earth's energy budget  
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This unit consists of two parts, each with several activities which require students to participate in investigations, discussions, computer data analysis, role-playing, and research. In Part 1, students examine the roles of Earth's energy balance... (View More)

In this lesson students investigate the effects of black carbon on arctic warming and are introduced to a mechanism of arctic warming that is not directly dependent on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: black carbon deposition on Arctic snow and... (View More)

In this inquiry activity, teams of students are challenged with engineering a greenhouse heat trap for use with exotic plants. The investigation requires thermometers, plastic wrap, and a shoebox for each team. Students graph data and determine the... (View More)

In this demonstration activity, students make structural models of gas molecules using pipe cleaners and polystyrene balls and test their molecules for their resonant frequency. Students shake the models, count vibrations, and compare the resonance... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, students take on roles of either photons or gas molecules. Photons signal a change from visible light to infrared with a piece of folded construction paper, simulating absorption by the Earth's surface and reradiation... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, Students will use longwave radiation data to determine whether the climate has changed in Portland, Oregon over a 20 year time span. This lesson offers two options: plotting data from Portland provided by the teacher,... (View More)

Users explore data, using My World GIS, that characterize the dynamic Greenland Ice Sheet. By examining photographs, map views, and tabular data, users gain an understanding of how and why scientists are monitoring the ice sheet and what they are... (View More)

Correlations between sea surface temperatures and the frequency and intensity of hurricanes are investigated in this lesson. The activity focuses on six named hurricanes that occurred between 1999 and 2009. Satellite data on those hurricanes, along... (View More)

Students examine CERES radiation data to understand how the Earth's tilt causes seasonal differences in incoming solar energy, and to explore how clouds, deserts and ice modulate the reflection of energy from the Sun. The investigation is conducted... (View More)

How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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