In this classroom activity, students access sea surface temperature and wind speed data from a NASA site, plot and compare data, draw conclusions about surface current and sea surface temperature, and link their gained understanding to concerns about global climate change.

This brief, hands-on activity illustrates the different heating capacities of soil and water in order to understand why places near the sea have a more moderate climate than those inland.

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.

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 NASA video reviews the role of the sun in driving the climate system. It uses colorful animations to illustrate Earth's energy balance and how increased greenhouse gases are creating an imbalance in the energy budget, leading to warming. The video also reviews how the NASA satellite program collects data on the sun.

This three-part, hands-on investigation explores how sunlight's angle of incidence at Earth's surface impacts the amount of solar radiation received in a given area. The activity is supported by PowerPoint slides and background information.

An interactive that illustrates the relationships between the axial tilt of the Earth, latitude, and temperature. Several data sets (including temperature, Sun-Earth distance, daylight hours) can be collected using this interactive.

This video describes what black carbon is, where is comes from, and how it contributes to sea ice melt and global warming.

This interactive visualization adapted from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey illustrates the concept of albedo, which is the measure of how much solar radiation is reflected from Earth's surface.

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.