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Climate Change classes 1
Preface and Structure
1 Energy from the Sun
2 The Oceans
3 Albedo
UQ 3 May 07 Cars and ozone
UQ 2 Mar 07 Urban air
Climate change 2007 IPCC special
UQ 1 Nov Dec 06 Particles in air
Special: Oct. 2006 Communication
Nr 10 Sept. 2006 Africa's emissions
Nr 9 July 06 Air traffic
Special: June 06 Climate summit
Nr 8 April 2006 Ozone & N2 cycle
Nr 7 March 2006 Climate modeling
Nr 6 Feb. 2006 acid rain
Nr 5 Jan. 2006 oceanic sulfur
Special: Nov 05 Ozzy Ozone
Nr 4 Oct. 2005 light/satellites
Special: Sept 05 Cyclones
Nr 3 Sept. 2005 methane/energy
Special: July 05 Greenhouse Earth
Nr 2 June 2005 forest/aerosols
No 1 May 2005 vegetation/CO2

Climate change in the classroom

Photos by: Tay Tay (Wasserfall) Steve Knight (Schüler) Nicole Kotschate (Grönland)

... basic knowledge in 12 units

Preface and Structure

The ACCENT global change magazine is going to dedicate four of its editions to the development of a basic concept for teaching the climate system and climate change including experiments and background information.

Topics of Units 1 - 3:

1 Energy from the Sun
2 Oceans
3 Albedo

Overview of the topics:

Each topic has a start page, directly recommending the topics of the lessons. Subordinated to this page we provide suggestions for easy to do experiments and background information for the teacher, in most cases based on the IPCC report "Climate Change 2007". Furthermore, commented links to resources on the Internet are offered.

Energy from the Sun


The Sun's radiation reaches the Earth's surface neither unfiltered nor everywhere with the same intensity. We give a brief summary of key issues relevant for classes on the solar spectrum, the geometry of the Earth and the transported energy. [ here ]


The variation of the solar constant and the irradition of the sun are often discussed as additional reasons for global warming. We explain the present state of knowledge in more detail. [ here ]


We simulate the irradiation of the Earth by the sun under different angles. An experiment using a globe and a spotlight. [ here ]


Commented links to Internet sources on solar radiation, Earth inclination, the Earth's orbit and the seasons [ here ]


The Oceans


The oceans contain more than 96% of all water on Earth, they take up giant amounts of solar energy and they determine the regional climate. Their water is part of a global circulation. [ here ]


The ocean currents in the North Atlantic changed with the alternation of ice ages and interglacials. The North Atlantic Drift, a branch of the Gulf Stream, did not carry warm water to the coasts of Northern Europe during ice ages. Can climate change have a similar effect? [ here ]


We can simulate on a small scale, how water sinks close to icy shores. An experiment for the classroom and your home ... [ here ]


The Internet provides further information on how is water distributed on Earth, which role oceans play in the climate system, what sea breeze and land breeze mean and also why the Gulf Stream cannot be interrupted. [ here ]



The Earth's Albedo


Seen from space, the Earth appears in different colours and in surfaces of different brightness. The albedo tells us, how much light is sent back to the space. It has an influence on the Earth's heat balance. We discuss factors which have an impact on the albedo. [ here ]


Changes in the Earth's albedo have an impact on global warming. But it's not easy to quantify them. We discuss methods, data and trends, primarily from the IPCC climate change report 2007. [ here ]


The energy uptake by surfaces of different brightness can be measured in simple experiments. A lamp, a thermometer, colour and paper are sufficient for an examination, which can be carried out in school or at home. [ here ]


There is a lot of information in the Internet directly or indirectly related to the albedo. The retreat of Arctic ice is a well investigated topic, as well as the impact of particles in the atmosphere. [ here ]




last updated 07.05.2008 | © ACCENT - Atmospheric Composition Change 2013