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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 play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle to gain an understanding of the varied pathways through the cycle and the relevance of nitrogen to living things. 

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.

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.

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