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Radiation Comparison Before and After 9-11 DLESE Reviewed Collection
Several research studies have suggested that contrails (condensation trails from aircraft) can alter the radiative budget of the Earth by increasing the cloud cover at high altitudes. The tragic events of September 11, 2001, caused virtually all air traffic to be grounded over the US for nearly three days. The absence of contrails over the United States during this time gave scientists a unique opportunity to test this theory. In this lesson, students will read some scientific papers related to these studies and draw their own conclusions using appropriate data from the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS). Daily satellite data or three-day average data for cloud cover, temperature and radiation parameters are available in the LAS for inquiry.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Lesson plan
  • Atmospheric science
  • Climatology
  • Environmental science
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
  • Mathematics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This product is free and clear for general use.
DLESE Catalog ID: MYND-000-000-000-099
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Geochemical cycles
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about science and technology
  • National Geography Standards:
    • Places and regions:
      • The physical and human characteristics of places
    • 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