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Introduction to Earth's Climate
Lesson 1 Questions

Test your knowledge by working through the following questions. Refer back to the lesson pages and learning tools as needed.

What is Climate?
  1. What is the difference between climate and weather?
  2. Challenge: El Nino is a term used to describe years in which Pacific Ocean currents are unusually warm, leading to variations from regular weather patterns. Is an El Nino event an example of climate change? Why or why not?
Earth's Unique Climate
  1. Write a paragraph describing at least five factors that make Earth's climate unique.
  2. Challenge: The climate on Mars is very different from that on Earth. What are four reasons for the difference in their climates?
Earth's Atmosphere
  1. What are the layers of the atmosphere?
  2. How does temperature relate to the layers of the atmosphere?
  3. Challenge: How would the temperature profile in the Earth's Atmosphere learning tool be different if the ozone layer was in the troposphere instead of the stratosphere?
Regional Climate Differences
  1. Think about the region you live in. How would you describe your climate, and what factors make the climate in your region different from other regions?
  2. Describe three ways in which different regional climates are inter-connected and affected by each other.
Temporal Climate Differences
  1. If the climate has always been changing, why are scientists concerned with the change that is happening now?
  2. Challenge:How do you think ice cores can be used to find historical temperatures? What is the relationship between ice core data and historical temperatures? (Note: you will learn more about this later).
  3. What is the difference between 'climate change,' 'global warming,' and 'the greenhouse effect'? Which term is most appropriate to describe our current global climate challenges, and why?