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Striking a Solar Balance

NASA, nasa.gov/multimedia

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.

Video length 3:35 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

  • Can be embedded into units dealing with the greenhouse effect and Earth's energy budget.
  • Nice intro to a module on the energy budget and why the sun is important in the climate system.
  • The related URL (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/solar_variability.html) provides helpful background info for the instructor and/or students to put the video in better context.

About the Science

  • Earth's radiation budget and use of satellites to measure solar energy is discussed.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
  • Scientific strengths: The resource discusses longwave radiation vs. shortwave radiation, however, it does not specify. It clearly summarizes our knowledge of the Sun and Earth's relationship.
  • Suggestions: Because the video brings up the energy budget, I would suggest a class discussion after viewing the video.

About the Pedagogy

  • Colorful animations appeal to visual learners.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Very easy to use.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

NASA Mission News article "Solar Variability: Striking a Balance with Climate Change" - http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/solar_variability.html

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