Can you tell El Nino from La Nina? This interactive was created by UCAR Center for Science Education using satellite images of the height of the ocean surface. Students interpret these images to identify whether they represent El Nino, La Nina, or neither event (La Nada!).
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.
The Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) instrument aboard the Seastar satellite collected ocean data for more than a decade.
The Earth acts as a giant engine that uses solar power to move air in the atmosphere and water in the ocean.
El Niño is a condition that sometimes occurs in the Pacific Ocean, but it is so big that it affects weather all over the world. Weather depends a lot on ocean temperatures. Where the ocean is warm, more clouds form, and more rain falls in that part of the world.
Hurricanes are large, swirling storms with winds of 119 kilometers per hour (74 mph) or higher. That's quicker than a cheetah can run which is the fastest animal on land. They are said to be the most violent storms on Earth.
The Quick Start Guide lists examples of NASA datasets and imagery that could be used for student investigations related to content and practices in the Framework for K-12 Science Education.
This photo of Earth taken in December 1968 by the Apollo 8 astronauts was the first time humans were able to see our home planet as an isolated sphere in space.
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.