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Striking a Solar Balance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz0JBSKRhf0

NASA, nasa.gov/multimedia

This NASA video reviews the role of the sun in driving the climate system. It uses colorful animations to illustrate Earth's energy balance and how increased greenhouse gases are creating an imbalance in the energy budget, leading to warming. The video also reviews how the NASA satellite program collects data on the sun.

Video length 3:35 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

When Earth emits the same amount of energy as it absorbs, its energy budget is in balance, and its average temperature remains stable.
About Teaching Principle 1
Other materials addressing 1b
Sunlight reaching the Earth can heat the land, ocean, and atmosphere. Some of that sunlight is reflected back to space by the surface, clouds, or ice. Much of the sunlight that reaches Earth is absorbed and warms the planet.
About Teaching Principle 1
Other materials addressing 1a

Energy Literacy

Earth's weather and climate is mostly driven by energy from the Sun.
Other materials addressing:
2.3 Earth's climate driven by the Sun.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
The effects of changes in Earth's energy system are often not immediately apparent.
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2.7 Effects of changes in Earth's energy system .
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
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Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Light and other electromagnetic waves can warm objects. How much an object's temperature increases depends on how intense the light striking its surface is, how long the light shines on the object, and how much of the light is absorbed.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Can be embedded into units dealing with the greenhouse effect and Earth's energy budget.
  • Nice intro to a module on the energy budget and why the sun is important in the climate system.
  • The related URL (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/solar_variability.html) provides helpful background info for the instructor and/or students to put the video in better context.

About the Science

  • Earth's radiation budget and use of satellites to measure solar energy is discussed.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Colorful animations appeal to visual learners.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Very easy to use.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

NASA Mission News article "Solar Variability: Striking a Balance with Climate Change" - http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/solar_variability.html

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