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Earth's energy budget  
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This textbook chapter traces the historical development of the modern scientific understanding of light, and reviews the electromagnetic spectrum and the Earth's atmospheric shield. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a suite... (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 inquiry investigation, students discover how a given amount of light changes in intensity when the area it shines on changes, and that change in light and heat occurs when the Earth is tilted towards or away from the Sun. Supplies required... (View More)

This experimental activity is designed to develop basic understanding of the relationship between the angle of light rays and the area over which the light rays are distributed, and the potential to affect changes in the temperature of materials.... (View More)

This online game allows participants to maneuver solar panels and a wind turbine in order to provide electricity to light five homes. Background information on sources of electricity- fossil fuels, solar energy and wind energy- is also presented.... (View More)

Keywords: Solar power
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This brief (1:37) video explains the essential Earth science concept of solar radiation - the source of most energy on Earth. ClimateBits videos are designed for Science On a Sphere (SOS) and also available on YouTube. Links are provided to more... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

This activity builds the basic understanding that the heating (indicated by temperature differences) of an object is related to the object’s surface color. Materials required for this investigation include a pair of thermometers, light and dark... (View More)

In this activity, students work in teams to calculate relative air mass and demonstrate how solar elevation angle affects the intensity of light that reaches an observer on the ground. The resource includes a student data sheet. This learning... (View More)

This video explains albedo - the concept that the brightness of the Earth system (atmosphere, ocean, and land surfaces) determines how much incoming solar energy is immediately reflected back to space. Reflected shortwave energy and land albedo... (View More)

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