Effect of the Sun's Energy on the Ocean and Atmosphere

In this mock mission, students become members of a research team and conduct a series of tasks to audit Earth's radiative budget. They use a Java Applet/visual viewer to access satellite data sets, calculate the balance of incoming and outgoing solar radiation, and defend their answers to a number of science questions.

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Mitch Fox
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Notes From Our Reviewers

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The spatial resolution of the data (2.5x2.5 degrees versus 20x20 degrees) is different than described in the instructions.To alleviate confusion, educators should talk about spatial resolution and tell students that they will be able to select more data points.

The instructions for the Java applet are incomplete. Prior to class use, it would be useful for educators to create a set of instructions so students know how to access the data. For example: "After bringing up the control panel, select ERBS. Then select year, month, and band, and hit 'go get data.' You will see the message, 'Extraction is coming up.' At this point, click on one of the latitude bands in the map, which will harvest the numerical data."

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