a. Sunlight reaching Earth can heat the land, ocean, and atmosphere. Some of that sunlight is reflected back to space by the surface, clouds, or ice. Much of the sunlight that reaches Earth is absorbed and warms the planet.

In this activity students learn how Earth's energy balance is regulating climate. This activity is lesson 4 in the nine-lesson module Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

This video provides a good overview of ice-albedo feedback. Albedo-Climate feedback is a positive feedback that builds student understanding of climate change.

This is an animated interactive simulation that illustrates differential solar heating on a surface in full sunlight versus in the shade.

An applet about the Milankovitch cycle that relates temperature over the last 400,000 years to changes in the eccentricity, precession, and orbital tilt of Earth's orbit.

This engaging activity introduces students to the concept of albedo and how albedo relates to Earth's energy balance.

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.

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.

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.

This introductory video covers the basic facts about how to keep residential and commercial roofs cool and why it is important to reducing the heat island effect and conserving energy.

This is a short NASA video on the water cycle. The video shows the importance of the water cycle to nearly every natural process on Earth and illustrates how tightly coupled the water cycle is to climate.

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