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. With each step, students compare the modeled surface temperature to Earth's actual surface temperature, thereby providing a check on how well each increasingly complex model captures the physics of the actual system.

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 activity features video segments from a 2007 PBS program on solar energy. Students follow a seven-step invention process to design, build, and test a solar cooker that will pasteurize water. In addition, they are asked to describe how transmission, absorption, and reflection are used in a solar cooker to heat water and to evaluate what variables contribute to a successful cooker.

In this worksheet-based activity, students review global visualizations of incoming sunlight and surface temperature and discuss seasonal change. Students use the visualizations to support inquiry on the differences in seasonal change in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and how land and water absorb and release heat differently. The activity culminates in an argument about why one hemisphere experiences warmer summers although it receives less total solar energy.

This activity engages learners in exploring the impact of climate change on arctic sea ice in the Bering Sea. They graph and analyze sea ice extent data, conduct a lab on thermal expansion of water, and then observe how a scientist collects long-term data on a bird population.

In this activity, students assume the role of a team of architects that has been commissioned to build a solar house containing both active and passive solar components. First, they must design the house and then build a model. The model is tested to determine how well it utilizes solar energy.

This activity introduces students to different forms of energy, energy transformations, energy storage, and the flow of energy through systems. Students learn that most energy can be traced back to nuclear fusion on the sun.

In this activity, students use a physical model to learn the basics of photosynthesis and respiration within the carbon cycle.

Students perform a lab to explore how the color of materials at 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.

In this activity, students use authentic Arctic climate data to unravel some causes and effects related to the seasonal melting of the snowpack and to further understand albedo.

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