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 NASA video discusses the impacts of the sun's energy, Earth's reflectance, and greenhouse gases on the Earth System.

This short animation compares graphs of the natural variation in the sun's energy striking the upper atmosphere vs global surface temperature over a 30-year period to make the point that natural variations do not account for the rising trend line in surface temperatures.

This Motions of the Sun Lab is an interactive applet from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Astronomy Applet project.

This animation demonstrates the changing declination of the sun with a time-lapse animation. It shows how the shadow of a building changes over the course of a year as the declination of the sun changes.

Hands-on laboratory activity that allows students to investigate the effects of distance and angle on the input of solar radiation at Earth's surface, the role played by albedo, the heat capacity of land and water, and how these cause the seasons. Students predict radiative heating based on simple geometry and experiment to test their hypotheses.

In this hands-on lesson, students measure the effect of distance and inclination on the amount of heat felt by an object and apply this experiment to building an understanding of seasonality. In Part 1, the students set up two thermometers at different distances from a light bulb and record their temperatures to determine how distance from a heat source affects temperature. In Part 2, students construct a device designed to measure the temperature as a function of viewing angle toward the Sun by placing a thermometer inside a black construction paper sleeve, and placing the device at different angles toward the Sun. They then explain how distance and inclination affect heat and identify situations where these concepts apply, such as the seasons on Earth and the NASA Mercury MESSENGER mission.