Atmosphere

Learn about the GLOBE student investigations that explore the Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate. After completing this module, you will be able to describe the structure and composition of the atmosphere and explain how differential heating of the Earth’s surface generates our planet’s air circulation patterns. You will be able to identify the atmosphere as one of the interacting components of our Earth system, and become familiar with the Atmosphere Protocols followed by GLOBE students when they collect data for their scientific investigations. Finally, you will explore the steps of setting up a GLOBE Atmosphere study site for and be introduced to GLOBE data reporting and visualization tools.
Learn how to select and define a GLOBE atmosphere Clouds protocol study site and get a step by step introduction of the protocol. After completing this module, you'll know how to explain what clouds are and how they form; explain why clouds are an important element of the Earth system; explain why cloud observations are important for understanding our changing Earth system; identify a Clouds study site and take observations of the sky; upload data to the GLOBE database; visualize data using GLOBE’s Visualization Site and have ideas for questions you can address using cloud observations.

Supporting Material:

In this tutorial, you can explore the physics of contrail formation in the atmosphere and develop the ability to recognize the several types of contrails that form under varying atmospheric conditions. Practice classifying the type and abundance of contrails.
This interactive web-based tool allows you to calibrate your eye by practicing cloud cover estimation using images on the computer.
This interactive web-based tool asks a series of questions to help you narrow down the type of cloud you are observing. It can be used both for practice and in the field to identify clouds.
Learn how to observe rainfall using a GLOBE approved rain gauge as part of a GLOBE Atmosphere Site. In this module, you will learn how rainfall contributes to the hydrologic cycle and impacts local and regional weather and climate. After finishing this module, you will understand how to read a rain gauge properly, when to take the observation and how to record the data on the GLOBE website.

Supporting Material:

Learn how to setup an Automated Weather Station (AWS) to collect a variety of data to upload to GLOBE.
Learn how to observe maximum, minimum and current air temperature as part of a GLOBE Atmosphere Site. You will learn where to place your weather shelter and when to take air temperature observations. You will also learn different ways NASA observes air temperature and how it is used to study weather and climate.

Supporting Material:

Learn how to setup an Automated Weather Station (AWS) to collect a variety of data to upload to GLOBE.
Learn how to observe new snowfall and snowpack as part of a GLOBE Atmosphere Site. You will learn how to measure snow water equivalent and the pH of snow. After finishing this module, you will understand how NASA observes snow cover using satellites.

Supporting Material:

Learn how to setup an Automated Weather Station (AWS) to collect a variety of data to upload to GLOBE.
In this virtual field experience, simulate the measurement of solid and liquid precipitation in the context of the GLOBE Precipitation protocols.
Learn how to take relative humidity observations for the GLOBE Program. You will learn how to use a digital hydrometer or a sling psychrometer properly and be able to relate relative humidity to air temperature. After finishing the module, you will know when to take relative humidity observations and why it is an important observation to take.
Learn how to take barometric pressure observations as part of a GLOBE Atmosphere Site. You will learn how to use an aneroid barometer and what the difference is between a barometer and an altimeter. After finishing this module, you will understand how your observations can help NASA and are used to map the weather.
Learn how to take surface temperature observations as part of a GLOBE Atmosphere Site. You will learn the proper technique for using an infrared thermometer and the correct location to take surface temperature observations. After finishing this module, you will understand why surface temperature observations are important to NASA.

Supporting Material:

In this virtual field experience, use an Infrared Thermometer to measure the temperature of surfaces and its use in the GLOBE Surface Temperature Protocol.