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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”.



Helping students build their understanding of Earth's spheres and how they are connected is difficult.  Review the graphics to help identify the parts of the Earth System and the processes that connect them at the local, regional, and global scales.


The Cryosphere refers to any place on Earth where water is in its solid form, where low temperatures freeze water and turn it into ice. The frozen water can be in the form of solid ice or snow and occurs in many places around the Earth. People often think of the polar regions of our planet as the main home of the Cyrosphere; the North Pole in the Arctic, as well as the South Pole in the Antarctic. The cryosphere exists in the polar regions, but is also found wherever snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, ice sheets, and icebergs exists. In these places, surface temperatures remain below freezing for a portion of each year. 



Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices including tools, engines, and machines. These are essential systems in platforms in NASA's Earth Science missions, like satellite and airborne missions.  Mechanical engineers work mostly in engineering services, research and development, and manufacturing. 


At the core of scientific visualization is the representation of data graphically - through images, animations, and videos - to improve understanding and develop insight. Data visualizers develop data-driven images, maps, and visualizations from information collected by Earth-observing satellites, airborne missions, and ground measurements. Visualizations allow us to explore data, phenomena and behavior; they are particularly effective for showing large scales of time and space, and "invisible" processes (e.g. flows of energy and matter) as integral parts of the models.


Data scientists work with data captured by scientific instruments or generated by a simulator, as well as data that is processed by software and stored in computer systems. They work with scientists to analyze databases and files using data management techniques and statistics. From changes in sea level,  atmospheric composition, or land use, data scientists help make sense of the petabytes of data that NASA collects and stores.


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