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Using Radiosonde Data From a Weather Balloon Launch DLESE Reviewed Collection
Our atmosphere is warmed by shortwave radiation received from the Sun. Some of the energy is reflected back to space depending on cloud cover and the surface characteristics of Earth. Some of the energy is absorbed by the surface, then re-emitted back to space as longwave radiation. As this occurs, clouds and atmospheric gases can reflect, absorb and re-emit this energy -- the so-called greenhouse effect. This naturally-occurring balance of energy makes Earth habitable. Most human activity and weather occurs in the troposphere. In this exercise, students will examine air temperature, dew point, and air pressure data collected by radiosonde. The data is from a weather balloon launch at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, on July 26, 2005. Students will determine the location of the tropopause and decide if any clouds formed.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Lesson plan
  • Atmospheric science
  • Climatology
  • Environmental science
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
Technical requirements:
Excel spreadsheet
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This product is free and clear for general use.
DLESE Catalog ID: MYND-000-000-000-082
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Earth in the solar system
        • Structure of the earth system
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about sci. / tech.
    • 9-12:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about science and technology
  • National Geography Standards:
    • The world in spatial terms:
      • How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Dr Lin Chambers