If Earth's surface were perfectly
uniform (all flat, bare land, for example), variations
in climate wouldn't be very interesting. A location's
latitude would control how much solar radiation it received,
and all areas at the same latitude would warm up and
cool down uniformly. This image shows simulated temperatures
for an imaginary Earth with a uniform surface.
your cursor over the image to reveal actual global
temperatures. Consider how actual temperatures differ
from the imaginary Earth temperatures. Answer the question
1. Describe how the temperature on
Earth would vary if it had a uniform surface.
In reality, global temperature is affected by a number
of variables. These include the amount of solar energy
that reaches the surface, ocean and atmospheric circulation
patterns, and the type of land cover on Earth's surface.
In this investigation, land cover refers to rocks, sand,
vegetation, ice, or wateranything that appears
at the surface of the planet. You'll consider the effect
of different types of land cover on global temperature.