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The purpose of this activity is to measure the total precipitable water vapor (column water vapor) in the atmosphere above an observer's site. Students point a GLOBE/GIFTS water vapor instrument at the sun and record the voltage readings from a digital voltmeter. They observe sky conditions near the Sun and perform the Cloud Protocols. Intended outcomes are that students understand the concept that the atmosphere prevents some of the sun's light from reaching Earth's surface, how water vapor measurements relate to the hydrologic cycle, and how greenhouse gases, such as water vapor, play an important role in weather and climate. Supporting background materials for both student and teacher are included.
Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science Resource Type: Activities:Field Activity Special Interest: Field-Based Teaching and Learning Grade Level: High School (9-12), Middle (6-8) Climate Literacy Principles: Complex Interactions:Water Cycle, Sun Drives Earth System:Greenhouse Effect, UV, Infrared, Complex Interactions:Greenhouse Gases, The Nature of Science:Observational Data Topics: Human Dimensions/Resources, Atmosphere
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