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

Energy Cycle

Energy from the Sun is the driver of many Earth System processes. This energy flows into the Atmosphere and heats this system up It also heats up the Hydrosphere and the land surface of the Geosphere, and fuels many processes in the Biosphere.

Students will analyze and interpret graphs to compare the flow of (shortwave) energy from the Sun toward China over the course of a year on cloudy versus clear days. Students will draw a conclusion and support it with evidence.

Students will analyze and interpret maps of the average net atmospheric radiation to compare the flow of energy from the Sun toward Earth in different months and for cloudy versus clear days. Students will draw conclusions and support them with evidence.