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Featured Mini Lesson

Salinity is key to studying the water cycle and ocean circulation, both of which are related to climate. Over decades, the amount of salt in ocean basins has been fairly stable. The water cycle operates on much faster time scales, however, causing changes in salinity patterns.

The Sahara Desert is a near-uninterrupted brown band of sand and scrub across the northern third of Africa. The Amazon rain forest is a dense green mass of humid jungle that covers northeast South America.

Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is affected, among other things, by processes involving forests including fires, deforestation and plant respiration. Evaluate a Landsat image to determine the rate of carbon dioxide sequestration in a particular area.

The energy budget diagram on the front shows our best understanding of energy flows into and away from the Earth.