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This activity introduces students to aspects of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and litho/geosphere and how they are interrelated. It is designed to promote an interest in authentic investigations of Earth using images acquired by astronauts as the hook.
Students review Earth System phenomena that are affected by soil moisture. They analyze and evaluate maps of seasonal global surface air temperature and soil moisture data from NASA satellites.
The processes comprising the Earth’s environment are interconnected.
This investigation is part of the NASA: Mission Geography Module "What are the causes and consequences of climate change?" that guides students through explorations in climatic variability and evidence for global climate change.
In this activity, students explore three indicators of drought are: soil moisture, lack of precipitation, and decreased streamflows. Students investigate each of these parameters develop a sense for the effects of drought on land.
Students analyze historic plant growth data (i.e., peak bloom dates) of Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossom trees, as well as atmospheric near surface temperatures as evidence for explaining the phenomena of earlier peak blooms in our nation’s capital.