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.

This activity allows students to make El Nino in a container, but it might work better as a teacher demonstration. The introduction and information provided describe El Nino, its processes and its effects on weather elsewhere in the world.