A visualization/model/game to build your own version of planet Earth and learn about the Earth’s climate system and the factors that influence it by configuring various parameters and observing their effect on climate.

Students will build their own Earth by customizing various parameters such as the tilt of the Earth’s axis, the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit, and the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration of the atmosphere. They will observe and discuss the effects of these parameters on climate-related factors such as temperature, precipitation, sea ice, albedo, and ocean currents.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Define the obliquity and the eccentricity of the Earth. How do changes in obliquity and eccentricity affect the Earth’s climate?
  2. Observe the Earth’s climate for pre-industrial CO2 levels and for current day CO2 levels. Compare and analyze the two scenarios.

About the Tool

Tool Name Build Your Own Earth
Discipline Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline What determines the Climate of a Planet, Energy balance, Albedo, Distance from Sun
Climate Topic Planetary Climate
Type of Tool Interactive Visualization, Model/Simulator, Game
Grade Level High school, Undergraduate
Location  Global
Language English
Developed by Stuart Anderson, Sharon Gardner, Jonathan Fairman, David Schultz
Hosted at Build Your Own Earth
Link http://www.buildyourownearth.com/index.html
Access Online
Computer Skills Intermediate