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Atmospheric Heating and Cooling Earth Science Resources

People use science to learn about the natural world and answer questions they have about it. Since scientists cannot possibly learn about everything, they usually concentrate on one area of science, such as the study of the earth. Earth scientists study things such as meteorology, which is the study of the earth's atmosphere and weather, as well as geology, which is the study of the earth's rocks. Many earth science subjects relate to other earth science subjects, so sometimes meteorologists must work closely with geologists to find the answers to their questions. Just like other scientists, earth scientists use the scientific method when looking for answers.

General Resources

  • Why Is the Sky Blue? This page lets you perform an experiment to help you understand why the sky is blue.

  • Facts About the Earth Start learning about earth and air science by reading this list of Earth facts. Learn about the world's largest deserts, how quickly Hawaii is approaching Japan, and the saltiest ocean on the planet.

  • Planet Earth Visit this page to learn how Earth differs from the other planets in the solar system.

  • Learn About Water Water covers nearly two-thirds of the planet earth, and affects everything from rocks to people. Visit this page to learn the basics about this important substance.

  • Introduction to Glaciers This overview provides readers with the basic information about glaciers, including how they form and affect the earth.

  • What Is Stratigraphy? Stratigraphy is the study of the earth's layers. This lesson explains the details of the subject, and explains how scientists study the different layers.

  • Careers in Science This site explains some of the different science-oriented careers, and the requirements of the different jobs.

  • Environauts Protect the Planet Play this fun, interactive game to learn about the importance of protecting the earth.

  • The Scientific Method Follow along with Tim and Moby as they learn how to use the scientific method to answer questions about the world.

  • Scientific Notation Visit this page to learn about how scientists use and deal with very large numbers.

Atmosphere and Weather

  • Wind Map See a very cool animation of the winds moving across continental United States.

  • What Are Winter Storms? Visit this page to learn about the different types of winter weather. Additionally, the site lists many interesting winter facts, such as the reason snow is white.

  • How Air Pressure Affects You Air pressure can be hard to understand, but this page makes it easy to understand what it is, and how it affects you.

  • Precipitation: What Makes Rain? This page explains the basics of precipitation and the factors that cause snow, sleet, and rain to form.

  • Air Masses and Air Fronts (Video) This entertaining video explains where the world's four primary air masses are, and what happens along their edges.

  • Build Your Own Weather Station (PDF) Investigate your local weather by constructing a 6-instrument weather station. By building the unit, you will learn about your local wind speed, wind direction, air pressure, air temperature, humidity, and rainfall.

  • Weather Glossary for Kids This glossary is an excellent resource for learning the definition of different weather terms.

  • Hurricane Life Cycle Learn about hurricanes and the processes that cause their formation by visiting this page.

  • All About Snow Visit this page to learn all about snow, including some unusual facts. Did you know that snow is a type of mineral?

  • Learning About Auroras This page contains videos, photographs, and information about the aurora phenomenon.


  • Rocks and Minerals This interactive introduction to rocks explains how the three different types of rocks form. Additionally, readers can see examples of rocks and minerals used in common household objects.

  • Geologic Time Scale The world has been around for much longer than people have, and this time line helps you to understand just how old it really is.

  • Geology Crossword Puzzle Test your knowledge of geology vocabulary terms by trying this fun crossword puzzle. The answer key allows you to check your answers.

  • Minerals in Your Cellphone (PDF) Visit this page to learn about all of the different minerals necessary to make a standard cell phone.

  • Plate Tectonics The earth's crust is broken up into many different pieces, called plates. Visit this page to learn how the movement of these plates causes earthquakes and tsunamis.

  • Moh's Scale of Hardness This page provides information about the Moh's Scale of Hardness, which scientists use to compare various rocks and minerals. The page also provides examples and photographs of each level of the scale.

  • World's Biggest Volcano This site explores the second largest volcano in the solar system, and the largest one on earth. This volcano is the size of Massachusetts, but it is hiding under more than one mile of water.

  • Earthquake Animation Use this animation to explore how an earthquake starts, and how the shock-waves travel through the earth.

  • Scientists Who Study Rocks This page explores the careers of different geologists, and describes the different types of things geologists study.

  • This Dynamic Planet This is an interactive map of the globe that marks major volcanoes, earthquakes, and craters on the earth's crust. Zoom in and see what sort of activity is near where you live!

Environmental Issues

  • Global Energy Balance Air, earth, and water are not completely separate. The earth's systems interact with each other, as in this interactive explanation.

  • Taking the Earth's Temperature This page explains how scientists measure the temperature of the planet, and track its change over time.

  • Global Warming: What Is Your Score? Use this activity to determine how much you are contributing to climate change and what steps you can take to help the problem.

  • Energy Sources People harness energy from a variety of sources. Visit this page to understand the differences between renewable and non-renewable sources.

  • What is Air Pollution? This page explains what air pollution is, what causes it, and how it affects the plants and animals of the planet.

  • Environmental Report Cards This interactive report card lets you see how you and your family are affecting the environment.

  • What Is Smog? This resource explains what smog is, how it forms, and what the differences are between summer and winter smog.

  • Global Warming and Hurricanes Investigate the link between global warming and the rise in the number of hurricanes.

  • It's All About Carbon (Video) These videos relate to carbon's role in climate change.

  • Famous Energy Scientists (PDF) This page has descriptions of many famous scientists who studied energy.