This is the first of nine lessons in the "Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change" website. This lesson is an introduction to Earth's climate and covers key principles regarding Earth's unique climate, atmosphere, and regional and temporal climate differences.

In this audio slideshow, an ecologist from the University of Florida describes the radiocarbon dating technique that scientists use to determine the amount of carbon within the permafrost of the Arctic tundra. Understanding the rate of carbon released as permafrost thaws is necessary to understand how this positive feedback mechanism is contributing to climate change that may further increase global surface temperatures.

This engaging video focuses on national and global wind energy potential by specifically highlighting Texas' role as wind energy leader and energy efficiency efforts in Houston, Texas.

In this activity students research the inter-dependencies among plants and animals in an ecosystem and explore how climate change might affect those inter-dependencies and the ecosystem as a whole.

This video reviews key points as well as pros and cons of nuclear power.

This video from NASA features scientists who describe the role of salt in the oceans and global oceanic circulation, especially the effect of salinity on the density of water and its global circulation, with reference to global climate change.

This short video, the sixth in the National Academies Climate Change, Lines of Evidence series, explores the hypothesis that changes in solar energy output may be responsible for observed global surface temperature rise. Several lines of evidence, such as direct satellite observations, are reviewed.

In this activity learners investigate the link between ocean temperatures and hurricane intensity, analyze instrumental and historical data, and explore possible future changes.

This visualization includes a series of flow charts showing the relative size of primary energy resources and end uses in the United States for the years 2008-2012.

This slideshow lays out a photo story with short descriptions of how city buildings all over the world are taking climate change and rising sea level seriously, designing structures that can react to unforeseen changes. As sea levels continue to rise, architects design ways to live with the rising water.

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