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Introduction to Climate
This site provides a brief overview of the earth's climate, which is generally defined as the average weather over a long period of time. The climate of a region is determined by both natural and anthropogenic (human-made) factors. The natural elements include the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, while the human factors can include land and resource uses. Changes in any of these factors can cause local, regional, or even global changes in the climate. This site includes the general distinctions between weather and climate and information designed to help students understand that daily weather measurements are highly variable compared to long-term climate. It serves as a reference for and includes links to four classroom activities.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
  • Visual:
    • Illustration - scientific
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
Subject:
  • Atmospheric science
  • Climatology
  • Environmental science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
The source of this material is Project Learn at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). References herein to other Web pages, which may be linked to this site, specific commercial products, processes, or services by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by UCAR. The user of this Web site understands that, with the exception of an employee or other authorized user of a UCAR sponsoring organization, UCAR may not be obligated to provide any support, consulting, training, or assistance of any kind with regard to the use of this Web site, or to provide any updates, revisions, or new versions. Copyright 2000-2001 University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. All Rights Reserved.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-618
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • C - Life science:
        • Population and ecosystems
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Earth's history
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
        • Geochemical cycles
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural resources
Related resources:
This resource is part of 'LEARN: Atmospheric Science Explorers'
This resource is the basis for 'Paleoclimates and Pollen'
This resource is the basis for 'Differences Between Climate and Weather'
This resource is the basis for 'Climate Variability'
This resource is the basis for 'Time and Cycles: Dendrochronology'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research