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Temperature Puzzle


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

Video length: 5:48 min.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Earth's Energy balance
About Teaching Principle 1
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Sunlight warms the planet
About Teaching Principle 1
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Greenhouse effect
About Teaching Principle 2
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Role of aerosols in climate system
About Teaching Principle 2
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Equilibrium and feedback loops in climate system
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Biosphere drives the global carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 3
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Global warming is "very likely" caused by human greenhouse gas emission
About Teaching Principle 6
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Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
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Sea level rise and resulting impacts is due to melting ice and thermal expansion and increases the risk
About Teaching Principle 7
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Increased extreme weather events due to climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
Earth's weather and climate is mostly driven by energy from the Sun.
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2.3 Earth's climate driven by the Sun.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
The effects of changes in Earth's energy system are often not immediately apparent.
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2.7 Effects of changes in Earth's energy system .

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Middle Level: show in class to introduce concepts, then follow on with more in-depth discussion/exercises.
  • High School: have students view as part of a homework assignment.

About the Science

  • This video focuses on NASA observations of solar variability, Earth's changing albedo, rising levels of greenhouse gas concentrations, and impacts on sea level, especially the Arctic.
  • Video integrates satellite imagery of polar ice, global temperatures, cloud cover, and solar activity. It uses computer animations to demonstrate the relationships between solar activity, albedo and global temperatures.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Clear and concise synopsis of factors that affect the Earth's temperature based on the state-of-the-science. Emphasizes uncertainty in models, but uses climate models to describe predictions of changes in Earth's temperature.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students watch the video to learn about the sun's energy output, albedo, greenhouse gases, and global temperatures.
  • No teacher support materials are provided and no further activities are recommended.
  • No prerequisite knowledge needed, although this can help summarize a variety of global change science concepts.
  • It will be up to the teacher to assist diverse learners and to engage students in the content.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Scroll down on the landing page to find this video
  • Easy to use and of excellent technical quality.

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