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To prepare for this exercise, students will read about the Earth's energy balance, the electromagnetic spectrum (including visible solar and invisible infrared energy), the effect of the earth's atmosphere, and the earth's resulting general oceanic and atmospheric circulation. For this I like Chapters 3, 4, & 5 in "The Earth System" (2nd Ed.) by Kump, Kasting, & Crane. The students' first step is to estimate zonal averages of Incoming Solar (Shortwave), Absorbed Shortwave, and Outgoing Longwave Radiation from 11x17in color maps of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) data. Then I remix the groups and they create zonal averages of these data at particular longitudes (like Fig. 2-14 in Ruddiman, "Earth's Climate: Past & Future").
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