Physics

Integrate climate science in your teaching and use these educational resources to teach topics such as:

Blackbody Radiation; Convection, Energy and Mass Conservation; Coriolis Force; Electromagnetic Spectrum; Hadley Circulation; Heat Transport Planck’s Law; Planetary Energy Balance; Stefan Boltzmann Law

A reading that explains the phase diagrams of water on Earth, Mars, and Venus and discusses the water vapor feedback mechanism in the atmospheres of these planets that influences the greenhouse effect. Students will be
A video micro-lecture that describes the phase diagrams of water on Earth, Mars, and Venus. It also describes the water vapor feedback mechanism in the atmospheres of these planets that influences the greenhouse effect. Students
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. Students will learn about Earth’s equable climate. They can use this
A classroom/laboratory activity to learn about radiation, heat transport, convection, and energy/mass conservation by interpreting and mapping the Hadley Circulation. Students will analyze and map real data through the NASA MERRA reanalysis model to understand
A visualization and associated activity to explain how Planck’s Law can be used to plot blackbody curves of objects with different temperatures, the relationship between temperature and peak wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum, and the
A reading that discusses the use of the law of conservation of angular momentum to explain the extent of Hadley cells.  Students will learn to derive atmospheric dynamics equations for a model of Hadley circulation
A model/simulator to learn about vertical energy (heat) transfer in the Earth’s system and planetary energy balance. Students will vary parameters such as the solar constant and the planetary albedo to observe the corresponding effects
A hands-on classroom/laboratory activity to learn about the Coriolis Effect.  In this activity, students use a simple paper-based model to understand how the Coriolis Effect influences the direction of winds, currents, and other objects in
A laboratory activity to learn about the urban heat island effect and heat waves. Students will collect temperature-related data from various parts of their schoolyard, observe and analyze differences in the data, and discuss the
A reading that introduces a single-layer atmosphere model, which is based on the emissivity of thermal radiation, to explain atmospheric warming.  Students will learn about the absorptivity and emissivity of grey bodies, the equation for
A visualization to understand blackbody radiation, the effects of albedo and solar brightness on the temperature of a planet, and the greenhouse effect of the Earth’s atmosphere. Students will experiment with a blackbody simulation to
A model/simulator to learn about changes in Earth’s climate caused by variations in the solar energy received by the planet over geological time scales and to understand the role of the orbital parameters (obliquity, precession,

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