This 15-panel interactive from NOVA Online describes some of the factors (e.g., Earth's rotation and the sun's uneven heating of Earth's surface) contributing to the formation of the high-speed eastward flows of the jet streams, found near the top of the troposphere. These jet streams play a major role in guiding weather systems.

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis

On September 27, 2013, Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its report to member governments for approval and acceptance. The report is the first of four that will make up the IPCC's 5th Assessment.

National Solar Radiation Database

The National Solar Radiation Database contains 30 years (1961-1990) of solar radiation and supplementary meteorological data, and hourly solar radiation and meteorological data for 237 National Weather Service sites in the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Also includes maps of the monthly amounts of solar power that could be generated with various solar collectors.

Surface Radiation Budget Network

Seven stations continuously collecting solar, infrared, meteorology, and ultraviolet radiation data are located in climatologically diverse regions of the U.S.—including Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

Integrated Surface Irradiance Study (ISIS) Network

Solar and ultraviolet radiation (UV) data recorded from 1995-2001 for nine sites located in California, Florida, New Mexico, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) Solar Energy Forecast

The LAPS system produces rapidly updated, high-resolution analyses and forecasts of solar radiation. The cloud analysis uses satellite, METARs, radar, aircraft, and model first guess information to produce an hourly 3-D field of cloud fraction, cloud liquid, and cloud ice. The cloud analysis and satellite data together are used to produce a gridded analysis of total solar radiation. 

In this hands-on lesson, students measure the effect of distance and inclination on the amount of heat felt by an object and apply this experiment to building an understanding of seasonality. In Part 1, the students set up two thermometers at different distances from a light bulb and record their temperatures to determine how distance from a heat source affects temperature.

Students perform a lab to explore how the color of materials at the Earth's surface affect the amount of warming. Topics covered include developing a hypothesis, collecting data, and making interpretations to explain why dark colored materials become hotter.

This activity teaches students about the albedo of surfaces and how it relates to the ice-albedo feedback effect. During an experiment, students observe the albedo of two different colored surfaces by measuring the temperature change of a white and black surface under a lamp.

This activity develops students' understanding of climate by having them make in-depth examinations of historical climate patterns using both graphical and map image formats rather than presenting a general definition of climate. Students explore local climate in order to inform a pen pal what type of weather to expect during an upcoming visit. Students generate and explore a variety of graphs, charts, and map images and interpret them to develop an understanding of climate.

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