Includes natural processes within the climate system: orbital patterns, solar radiation, oceans, atmosphere, water cycle, the natural greenhouse effect, carbon cycle, regional climates and differences between climate and weather.

sea-surface height from satellite data
September 4, 2014

Forecasters are still calling for a 65% chance of El Nino conditions being met in the next few months. Isn't this late for the start of an ENSO event? 

This video is simple in its appearance, but it contains a wealth of relevant information about global climate models.

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.

July 10, 2014

Sea surface temperatures are up. So why haven't forecasters declared El Niño conditions? 

July 1, 2014

One of ENSO’s most important influences is to the Indian Monsoon—the large-scale circulation pattern that brings the Indian subcontinent the vast majority of its yearly rainfall. And while La Niñas tend to increase monsoon rainfall, the monsoon’s relationship with El Niño can be a little more complicated.  

June 12, 2014

How does El Niño affect U.S. winter temperature and precipitation?

In this hands-on activity, participants learn the characteristics of the five layers of the atmosphere and make illustrations to represent them. They roll the drawings and place them in clear plastic cylinders, and then stack the cylinders to make a model column of the atmosphere.

This activity supports educators in the use of the activities that accompany the GLOBE Program's Earth System Poster 'Exploring Connections in Year 2007'. Students identify global patterns and connections in environmental data that include soil moisture, insolation, surface temperature, cloud fraction, precipitation, world topography/bathymetry, aerosol optical thickness, and biosphere (from different times of the year) with the goal of recognizing patterns and trends in global data sets.

C-Learn is a simplified version of the C-ROADS simulator. Its primary purpose is to help users understand the long-term climate effects (CO2 concentrations, global temperature, sea level rise) of various customized actions to reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions, reduce deforestation, and grow more trees. Students can ask multiple, customized what-if questions and understand why the system reacts as it does.

This short video uses animated imagery from satellite remote sensing systems to illustrate that Earth is a complex, evolving body characterized by ceaseless change. Adapted from NASA, this visualization helps explain why understanding Earth as an integrated system of components and processes is essential to science education.