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Radiation Balance
Radiation Balance challenges students to "become a meteorologist" and make predictions about the relationships among ground cover, time of day, altitude and temperature. It is a simulation of radiation processes in the earth's atmosphere caused by solar, terrestrial, and atmospheric radiation transfer. Students analyze temperature data measured by a balloon (radiosonde) that they "launch" both in the morning and evening over four types of terrain (sand, plowed field, grass or fresh snow). As the balloon is dragged and dropped to various heights in the simulated atmosphere, the temperatures at these altitudes are automatically plotted on a graph. Several temperature profiles may be plotted concurrently to compare differences before clearing the graph.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
  • Visual:
    • Visualization - scientific
  • Atmospheric science
  • Climatology
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
Technical requirements:
Browser must be capable of running Java applets.
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 1999, PALS, all rights reserved
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-000-549
Related resources:
This resource is part of 'Java Simulations For Topics in Introductory Meteorology'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Partnerships to Advance Learning in Science

Contact: Dr Douglas Yarger
Partnerships to Advance Learning in Science