In this activity, students learn about sea ice extent in both polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic). They start out by forming a hypothesis on the variability of sea ice, testing the hypothesis by graphing real data from a recent 3-year period to learn about seasonal variations and over a 25-year period to learn about longer-term trends, and finish with a discussion of their results and predictions.

In this activity students download satellite images displaying land surface temperature, snow cover, and reflected short wave radiation data from the NASA Earth Observation (NEO) Web site. They then explore and animate these images using the free tool ImageJ and utilize the Web-based analysis tools built into NEO to observe, graph, and analyze the relationships among these three variables.

This short video, is the fifth in the National Academies Climate Change, Lines of Evidence series. It focuses on greenhouse gases, climate forcing (natural and human-caused), and global energy balance.

In this activity, learners use the STELLA box modeling software to determine Earth's temperature based on incoming solar radiation and outgoing terrestrial radiation. Starting with a simple black body model, the exercise gradually adds complexity by incorporating albedo, then a 1-layer atmosphere, then a 2-layer atmosphere, and finally a complex atmosphere with latent and sensible heat fluxes. With each step, students compare the modeled surface temperature to Earth's actual surface temperature, thereby providing a check on how well each increasingly complex model captures the physics of the actual system.

This simulation allows the user to project CO2 sources and sinks by adjusting the points on a graph and then running the simulation to see projections for the impact on atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures.

In this activity about climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula, learners investigate environmental changes in the living and nonliving resources of Antarctic peninsula and the impact of these changes on AdÃlie penguin communities. The activity stresses the importance of evidence in the formulation of scientific explanations.

This NASA video discusses the impacts of the sun's energy, Earth's reflectance and greenhouse gases on the Earth System.

This animation depicts the carbon cycle in a fashion that is suited for younger audiences. The video discusses how carbon enters and exits the environment through both natural and human-driven ways.

The purpose of this activity is to identify global patterns and connections in environmental data contained in the GLOBE Earth Systems Poster, to connect observations made within the Earth Systems Poster to data and information at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and to understand the connections between solar energy and changes at the poles, including feedback related to albedo.

This interactive visualization adapted from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey illustrates the concept of albedo, which is the measure of how much solar radiation is reflected from Earth's surface.

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