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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) and the greenhouse effect in creating and affecting climate. Part 2 focuses on the biosphere as a system. Students examine the interactions of organisms, the effects of climate change on food webs, and the importance to humans of a healthy, intact ecosystem. The unit is one of four under the Chicago Botanic Garden curriculum entitled, "Climate Change in My Backyard." (View Less)
Derived from the Science on a Sphere film entitled "Water Falls," this short (2:50) video presents basic information on the percentage, allocation, and distribution of Earth's usable water.
Images from NASA satellites showing atmospheric phenomena such as cyclones, hurricanes, high/low pressures, clouds and the jet stream are featured in this 10-minute planetarium show.
In a one minute time lapse video, viewers are shown the assembly sequence of the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite from its 2011 beginning at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to its 2014 launch at Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission provides a global perspective on rain and snow, along with the storms, impacts, patterns, hazards, and changes associated with those precipitation events. Several such events, which occurred during a... (View More) one-week period in August 2014, have been compiled into this short video (5:42 minutes) which features narration by NASA scientists. (View Less)
This Science On a Sphere video and docent show (script and playlist), explores factors that render Earth habitable and influence Earth's energy budget. The video gives an overview of NASA's Search for "Goldilocks Planets" - planets that are not too... (View More) hot or too cold for liquid water. (View Less)
This video is narrated by NASA scientist Peter Griffith who explains fast and slow carbon cycling on Earth. A banana is an example of fast, young carbon. A chunk of coal is an example of old, slow carbon. Carbon dioxide and vegetation on land seen... (View More) from space by satellites show the annual cycle: as plants grow during spring and summer they draw carbon dioxide out of the air during photosynthesis. When they die or go dormant during winter, carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere. Burning fast or slow carbon to generate power or heat releases black carbon, also called soot which can be seen from space. ClimateBits videos are designed for Science On a Sphere (SOS) and also available on YouTube. Links are provided to more information for this topic from the main ClimateBits website (see related & supplemental resources). (View Less)
This brief (1:58) video provides an explanation of El Niño and its impact on the marine food web. Satellite images of a large El Niño in 2015 show the impact on both water temperature and phytoplankton blooms. ClimateBits videos are designed for... (View More) Science On a Sphere (SOS) and are also available on YouTube. Links are provided to more information for this topic from the main ClimateBits website (see related & supplemental resources). (View Less)
This video explains air quality and specifically describes Earth's air pollution seen from space by satellites. As the world's largest environmental health risk, air pollution is important to understand, monitor, and reduce. Over the past 10 years,... (View More) air pollution has reached epic levels in some places in the world, even as air quality has improved in other places. ClimateBits videos are designed for Science On a Sphere (SOS) and also available on YouTube. Links are provided to more information for this topic from the main ClimateBits website (see related & supplemental resources). (View Less)
This video features NASA scientist Claire Parkinson explaining atmospheric carbon dioxide levels seen in measurements collected at the Mauna Loa observatory since 1958 and recent global model output. The seasonal cycle of plants on land and in the... (View More) ocean explains the annual rise and fall of carbon dioxide. The long-term trend toward more CO2 in our atmosphere is largely due to human activity. We are putting CO2 into the air faster than nature can remove it. (View Less)