## Teaching Module: Planetary Energy Balance

A teaching module including readings and associated links by the American Chemical Society that discusses the balance between incoming solar energy and outgoing terrestrial energy and its relationship with the surface  temperature of the Earth. This overview reading can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about planetary energy balance or planetary climate. The module includes discussion on energy emissions, radiation, black body radiation, Planck equation and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. The module also provides links to the following:

1. How much energy from the Sun reaches the planet
2. The predicted temperature from a planet in energy balance with the Sun
3. The effect of atmospheres on planetary temperatures
4. How the temperature of the Earth is determined

Students will learn about the energy balance equation and how it can be used to calculate the surface temperature of the Earth.

1. What is a blackbody?
2. State the Stefan-Boltzmann Law? Calculate the surface temperature of the Earth based on the balance between incoming solar energy and outgoing terrestrial energy.

## Video Lecture: Radiative Transfer

Two video lectures titled, ‘Radiative Transfer Equation’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lectures discuss how to calculate radiative transfer equation and further discusses its importance in atmospheric sciences, particularly in satellite remote sensing.

Students will learn about isotropic scattering, radiation derivative calculation, spectral emissivity and reflectivity, absorption coefficient, Beer-Lambert’s law, and Schwarzschild’s equation. They will also learn how to apply the radiative transfer equation to multispectral infrared sounder, infrared imager, microwave sounder, and microwave imager  for satellite remote sensing and satellite meteorology.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

1. Define the following:
2. Remote sensing
3. Spectral emissivity
4. Beer-Lambert’s law
2. How can radiative transfer calculations be used for atmosphere remote sensing?

## Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Climate Change, the Cryosphere, and Rising Sea Levels

A classroom/laboratory activity that introduces the relationship between climate and the cryosphere, explains how sea-level rise can be predicted (based on average global temperature change), and triggers a discussion on the potential impacts of sea-level rise.

## Model/Simulator: Modeling Planetary Energy Balance

A model/simulator to learn about vertical energy (heat) transfer in the Earth’s system and planetary energy balance.

## Mobile App: Polar Explorer (Sea Level)

Polar Explorer is an education app to learn about changes in sea level through time with the help of real data.

## Video: Sea Level Rise

This video describes sea-level rise due to climate change and flooding risks in coastal communities.

## Reading: Planetary Temperatures

A reading that discusses the blackbody emission properties of the Sun and planets, describes the calculation of planetary temperatures by using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, and explains the effect of atmospheres on planetary temperatures

## Visualization: Melting Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise

An interactive visualization to explore the effects of melting ice sheets and the resulting sea level rise on coastal areas.

## Video: Rising Sea Surface Temperature and Hurricane Intensity

A video to learn about hurricanes as heat engines, and the possible effects of increasing sea surface temperature on the intensity and frequency of hurricanes.

## Video Lecture: Planck’s Law and Earths Climate

A video lecture titled, ‘Planck’s distribution and Inverse square law’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lecture gives a detailed explanation about Planck’s Law for black body distribution. It also includes discussions on Wien’s displacement law, radiative loss, Simpson’s rule, Trapezoidal rule, Gauss quads, the Stefan-Boltzmann Law,  and Newton Raphson method.

Students will learn about Planck’s law and how to calculate Earth’s temperature. They will also be introduced to photosphere, flux density, planetary albedo, reflectivity, absorptivity, transmissivity, emissivity for land,  and emissivity of ocean which are used to calculate Earth’s temperature and determine its climate.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

1. Define the following:
1. Black body radiation
2. Albedo Effect
4. Transmissivity
5. Emissivity of land
2. How is Earth’s temperature calculate given the following scenario:
1. Earth as a black body
2. Earth with oceans, snow covered land and a simple layer of non-interactive air

## Reading: Climate Change and Natural Disasters

A reading by the National Wildlife Federation that discusses how climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events and other natural disasters. This overview reading can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about climate change and disasters and hazards.The reading includes discussions on the following topics:

1. Extreme heat waves
2. Hurricanes
3. Harmful algal outbreaks
4. Megafires
5. Droughts
6. Floods

Students will learn about climate change impacts and how global warming is potentially causing an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events. They will also understand how different natural disasters impact the wildlife and ecosystems.

1. Discuss how climate change is contributing to an increased frequency of natural disasters?
2. How do natural disasters affect wildlife? Use examples.

## Reading: Atmospheric Dynamics and Hadley Cells

A reading that discusses the use of the law of conservation of angular momentum to explain the extent of Hadley cells

## Reading: Changes in Intensity and Frequency of Hurricanes

A reading to learn about recent changes in hurricane activity, specifically in the Atlantic.

## Reading: Hurricanes and Climate Change

A reading to learn about what affect hurricane activity and the measures that can help in building resilience to the impacts of hurricanes

## Visualization: Show Your Stripes: Changes in Temperature

A visualization to observe and analyze the change in temperature as measured in each country over the past 100+ years. Each stripe represents the temperature in that country averaged over a year.

## Reading: Earth’s Equable Climate

A reading that explains Earth’s equable climate in the past using the theories, Hadley Cells, Convective Cloud Feedback, Polar Stratospheric Clouds, and Tropical Cyclones.

## Model/Simulator: Modeling Earth’s Carbon

A model/simulator to learn about the carbon cycle and carbon dioxide projections based on the observed CO2 concentrations from Land, Ocean and Atmospheric reservoirs.  The model includes four RCP scenarios based of fossil fuel emissions:

1. Business as usual
2. Slower Growth
3. Big Reductions
4. Very Aggressive

Students can simulate future carbon dioxide concentration, surface temperature, ocean surface pH and carbon fluxes through the use of this model. They will learn to calculate the projections based on various future scenarios for reservoirs of anthropogenic carbon.

Mathematics/Statistics teachers can use this resource to teach their students about models and the use of climate data to create models.

1. What is a carbon cycle? How does atmospheric CO2 impact land and ocean carbon concentration?
2. Define the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario in the model.
3. Based on the past projections, what will be the average surface temperature in each RCP scenario?

## Video Lecture: Physics of Scattering and Greenhouse Gases

Two video lectures titled, ‘Physics of scattering, emission and absorption’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lectures explain the behaviour of Earth’s atmosphere due to interaction between gases and sun’s radiation which lead to radiative absorption, emission and scattering.

Students will learn about reflection, refraction, isotropic scattering, greenhouse gases, extinction coefficient, Prevost law, Stefan Boltzmann law, thermal conductivity of water, Kirchhoff’s law, Marshall-Palmer distribution, Rayleigh scattering, Mie scattering, Doppler and Lorentz broadening and Gaussian distribution.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.