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Observe changes in Earth's orbit that contribute to climate change
http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es1506/es1506page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualization

TERC, McDougall Littell

This animated visualization of precession, eccentricity, and obliquity is simple and straightforward, provides text explanations, and is a good starting place for those new to Milankovitch cycles.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Gradual changes in Earth's rotation and orbit around the Sun change the intensity of sunlight received in our planet’s polar and equatorial regions. For at least the last 1 million years, these changes occurred in 100,000-year cycles that produced ice ages and the shorter warm periods between them.
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Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth’s climate system
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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

  • Great addition to lesson about Milankovitch cycles and orbital forcing.

About the Science

  • The orbital parameters that are responsible for the Milankovitch cycles are visualized in this animation.
  • The following resources are more advanced with more layers for exploration. These should be used after students have a basic understanding of the parameters.
  • The below link is for a more interactive explanation of the orbital parameters of Earth, and other planets: http://www.sciencecourseware.org/eec/GlobalWarming/Tutorials/Milankovitch/
  • Use the below Applet for investigation of the cycles overlapped with temperature data. This is good to use after the students understand the basic principles of the cycles. http://itg1.meteor.wisc.edu/wxwise/climate/earthorbit.html
  • Comments from expert scientist: Very good overall, but it is not clear where they got the data from.

About the Pedagogy

  • Animation illustrates complex concepts and will help students understand these orbital parameters. Images are sized somewhat small. Accompanying text is concise and helpful.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Animations are small and need to be projected for use in a classroom.

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