Students analyze map visualizations representing the amount of Sun’s energy received on the Earth as indicated by the amount that is reflected back to space, known as “albedo”.
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Students move through a series of short activities to explore and evaluate global solar radiation data from NASA satellites. In this process, students make qualitative and quantitative observations about seasonal variations in net energy input to the Earth System.
This unit, created through the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI), helps students learn about each component of the energy budget formula and how the contribution of each component changes based on the location and the time of the year.