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Atmospheric Processes

US Department of Energy, Climate Placemat: Energy-Climate Nexus, US Department of Energy Office of Science

This image depicts a representative subset of the atmospheric processes related to aerosol lifecycles, cloud lifecycles, and aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions that must be understood to improve future climate predictions.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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High School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts

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

  • Best used to show the connections between aerosols heating and the water cycle.
  • May function well as a culminating visual.

About the Science

  • Illustrative image shows aerosol life cycles, cloud life cycles and aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions.
  • The illustrations shows the amount of exchange in qualitative ways but no actual numbers are given.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The image summarizes different processes leading to formation and removal of natural and anthropogenic aerosol and how such aerosol would affect cloud formation and lifetime and radiation. Although the image is a nice summary of all the different processes leading to formation of primary and secondary atmospheric aerosol, their impact on cloud formation and radiative balance, there is no written description of these processes. Therefore the overall usefulness of the image on its own to those not familiar with the topic is minimal.

About the Pedagogy

  • Well designed image.
  • Many of the terms are very complex and may need to be defined.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Can download a print quality image in 72, 150 or 300 resolution.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Static Visualization supports:

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