This location will be your central location to find content, assignments, exams, multimedia, discussion forums and more for this course. This resource has been created by utlitizing articles and files from some of the most distinguished professors and scientists in the field of Earth science.
Sonoran DesertLast Updated on 2013-11-08 00:42:42The Sonoran Desert covers approximately 200,000 square miles (520,000 square kilometers), including about 100,000 square miles of land, and often defined to also cover around 100,000 square miles of sea; moreover, the Sonoran comprises much of the state of Sonora, Mexico, most of the southern half of the USA states of Arizona, southeastern California, most of the Baja California peninsula, and the numerous islands of the Gulf of California. Its southern third straddles 30° north latitude and is a horse latitudeA horse latitude is a subtropical latitude between 30 and 35 degrees both north and south. desert; the rest is rainshadow desert. It is lush in comparison to most other deserts. There is a moderate diversity of faunal organisms present, with 550 distinct vertebrate species having been recorded here.
The Sonoran Desert can be divided into seven subdivisions based on... More »
Seagrasses as carbon sinkLast Updated on 2012-05-22 00:00:00
Research finds that the global carbon pool in seagrass beds is as much as 19.9 billion metric tons. They are vital to understanding climate change—they can store up to twice as much carbon as the world's temperate and tropical forests.
Seagrasses Can Store as Much Carbon as Forests
Seagrasses are a vital part of the solution to climate change and, per unit area, seagrass meadows can store up to twice as much carbon as the world's temperate and tropical forests.
So report researchers publishing a paper in the journal Nature Geoscience. The paper, "Seagrass Ecosystems as a Globally Significant Carbon Stock," is the first global analysis of carbon stored in seagrasses. The results demonstrate that coastal seagrass beds store up to 83,000 metric tons of carbon per square kilometer, mostly in the soils beneath them.
As a comparison, a typical... More »
Earth's Clouds LoweringLast Updated on 2012-02-22 00:00:00
This image of clouds over the southern Indian Ocean was acquired by NASA’s polar-orbiting Terra spacecraft. The featured study revealed an overall trend of decreasing global cloud height during the last decade.
NASA Satellite Finds Earth's Clouds
are Getting Lower
Earth's clouds got a little lower -- about one percent on average -- during the first decade of this century, finds a new NASA-funded university study based on NASA satellite data. The results have potential implications for future global climate.
Scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand analyzed the first 10 years of global cloud-top height measurements (from March 2000 to February 2010) from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft. The study, published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, revealed an overall... More »
Lab Exercise 1Last Updated on 2011-10-17 00:00:00
This lab will serve as an introduction to Earth Science.
The goal of this lab exercise is to familiarize yourself with several important aspects of the world around you. The Earth has many properties that can be observed and tested, right from your classroom
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
In addition to this course pack, you will need the following:
TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
This lab is intended for the initial outset of a class focused on Earth Science. It is targeted towards grades 8-10 and should be reviewed by the instructor completely before it is presented to a classroom - to determine its age-appropriateness for the students and to ensure that all required materials are present.
In... More »