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Observe changes in Earth's orbit that contribute to climate change

TERC, McDougall Littell

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

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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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 illustrated 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.
  • An interactive explanation of the orbital parameters of Earth, and other planets: http://www.sciencecourseware.org/eec/GlobalWarming/Tutorials/Milankovitch/
  • An Applet for investigation of the cycles along 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.
  • 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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