Earth's vertical energy transfer

Model/Simulator

A model/simulator to learn about vertical energy (heat) transfer in the Earth’s system and planetary energy balance.

Students will vary parameters such as the solar constant and the planetary albedo to observe the corresponding effects on energy transfer from the Sun to the Earth and from the Earth to the atmosphere. They will learn about a simple energy balance model and its underlying physics.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. For a given solar constant, how does an increase in the number of atmospheric layers affect the Earth’s surface temperature?
  2. For a given solar constant, how does an increase in the planetary albedo affect the Earth’s surface temperature?

Image credit: Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, Colorado State University

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By Scott Denning (Colorado State University)

Hosted at Denning Research Group Toy Models


Language: English

Location:

Grade: Undergraduate

Access: Online

Computer Skills: Intermediate


Discipline: Earth Sciences, Physics

Discipline Topics: Greenhouse Effect, Heat Transfer, Convective Heat Flux, Vertical Energy Transfer in Earth’s Atmosphere

Climate Topics: The Greenhouse Effect; Climate and the Atmosphere