Ch 8: Energy in the Earth System

About This Chapter

Watch informative online video lessons and learn about solar energy, wind and weather variables. Take the quizzes that follow each lesson to chart your progress.

Energy in the Earth System - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

This chapter focuses on one of the primary sources of energy for the earth: the sun. Instructors will guide you through lessons discussing the effects of solar energy on the temperature of the earth and how the sun is used as an energy source for the water cycle. You'll watch engaging video lessons that cover heat transfer methods, weather variables and air masses. These lessons outline the differences between weather and climate and describe global air circulation patterns. When you've watched all the videos in this chapter, you'll be able to describe the following:

  • Causes for seasonal changes and variations in day length
  • How the sun powers wind and ocean currents
  • Conduction and convection
  • Definition of climate
  • Weather variables
  • How air masses impact the weather

Video Objectives
Solar Energy: Effects on Earth's Temperature Defines solar energy and explains how the earth's tilt and shape affect the planet's temperatures. Describes greenhouse gases, summer and winter solstices and equinoxes.
The Sun as a Source of Energy for Winds, Currents & the Water Cycle Describes the sun's role as a major source of energy for events that take plane on Earth's surface. Explains how the sun powers winds, ocean currents and the water cycle.
Mechanisms of Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection & Radiation Identifies the three ways that heat can be transferred. Provides an in-depth lesson on each of these mechanisms.
Weather vs. Climate: Definition, Differences & Effects Examines how each of these concepts is related to the other. Provides a definition and description of both terms.
Factors That Affect Wind: Pressure Gradient Forces, Coriolis Effect & Friction Details how wind is affected by air temperature and pressure. Examines the wind deflection phenomenon known as the Coriolis Effect. Defines friction and explains how it influences the Coriolis Effect.
Weather Variables: Air Pressure, Temperature & Density Examines three key variables that control the weather. Defines adiabatic processes. Explains how clouds, storms and fronts are formed.
The General Circulation of the Atmosphere Describes air circulation cells of the northern and southern hemispheres that create wind. Identifies key areas like the Doldrums, Hadley cells, horse latitudes and the Ferrel cell. Defines westerlies, polar easterlies, polar fronts and polar cells.
Types of Air Masses & Their Effect on Weather Discusses continental and maritime air masses and the different source regions for these masses. Describes the different weather that is produces by each type of air mass. Explains how air masses can move and the results of these movements.
Understanding Weather Fronts: Types & Their Effect on Weather Reviews the definition of a weather front and the various types of fronts that can occur. Explains how the weather changes due to these fronts.

9 Lessons in Chapter 8: Energy in the Earth System
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Solar Energy: Effects on Earth's Temperature

1. Solar Energy: Effects on Earth's Temperature

In this video lesson, learn about solar energy and how it affects temperatures on Earth. You will also learn what causes changes in day length and why some parts of Earth experience seasonal differences throughout the year.

The Sun as a Source of Energy for Winds, Currents & the Water Cycle

2. The Sun as a Source of Energy for Winds, Currents & the Water Cycle

View this lesson to learn how energy from the sun powers our winds, ocean currents and the water cycle. Learn how the winds, ocean currents and the water cycle react to the energy from the sun.

Mechanisms of Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection & Radiation

3. Mechanisms of Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection & Radiation

There are three main ways that heat is transferred between substances or objects. In this video lesson you'll learn about each one, and identify the differences between them.

Weather vs. Climate: Definition, Differences & Effects

4. Weather vs. Climate: Definition, Differences & Effects

This video lesson will guide you in understanding the difference between climate and weather. Discover how they are different but related and how they are the ways you can describe atmospheric conditions on Earth.

Factors That Affect Wind: Pressure Gradient Forces, Coriolis Effect & Friction

5. Factors That Affect Wind: Pressure Gradient Forces, Coriolis Effect & Friction

In this video lesson, you will learn about wind and some factors that affect it, such as air temperature and pressure, the Coriolis effect, and friction. By the end of this lesson, you will also understand how Earth's rotation plays a role in how winds travel.

Weather Variables: Air Pressure, Temperature & Density

6. Weather Variables: Air Pressure, Temperature & Density

Weather is influenced by a number of factors. In this lesson, you will learn about three key variables that control weather and how they work together to do so.

The General Circulation of the Atmosphere

7. The General Circulation of the Atmosphere

The Sahara Desert, tropical rainforests, and cold polar winds are all due to Earth's rotation. In this video lesson, you will learn how this rotation has created global air circulation patterns on Earth and how it is responsible for such diverse climate patterns across the globe.

Types of Air Masses & Their Effect on Weather

8. Types of Air Masses & Their Effect on Weather

Air masses affect weather in a number of different ways. In this lesson, you will learn about the different types of air masses found on Earth and how the movement of air masses creates changes in the weather.

Understanding Weather Fronts: Types & Their Effect on Weather

9. Understanding Weather Fronts: Types & Their Effect on Weather

In this video lesson you will learn about how air masses with different characteristics create weather fronts. You will also identify the different types of fronts, as well as what type of weather occurs along them.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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