Part 3: Energy Budget and Habitability (CIP3)

Activity Description

1. Go to:

i. http://digilib.gmu.edu:8080/dspace/html/1920/2048/107_solcon3.pdf and review Space Research and You: Measuring Solar Radiation Incident on Earth. Page 1 only. Focus on the Earth’s Energy Budget diagram. Note: Page 2 – Background, is somewhat technical and not required reading for this assignment.

ii. Please conduct informational research on Habitable Zones. You can also use: http://astro.unl.edu/naap/habitablezones/animations/stellarHabitableZone.html. From this simulator, you can go back and read some of the Main Content under Habitable Zones. Regardless, do some research on Habitable Zones.

2. Refer to the Earth’s Energy Budget diagram above and describe your understanding of it. Follow the numbers used and describe how they add up or don’t add up. Be thorough and specific. Use the numbers in your response.

3. In the Earth’s Energy Budget diagram, the author states, “The heat exchanges are in balance: the heat gained by the Earth through solar radiation equals the heat lost through thermal radiation.” What is meant by this statement? What NSCI100 concepts are being used here? Explain.

4. Now make connections among the Earth’s Energy Budget diagram, the Habitable Zone information and the Vital Signs of Planet Earth by discussing what you think the impact on planet Earth would be for each of these three conditions if each condition was sustained for a significant amount of time :

i. The heat gained by the Earth through solar radiation equals the heat lost through thermal radiation.

ii. The heat gained by the Earth through solar radiation is less than the heat lost through thermal radiation.

iii. The heat gained by the Earth through solar radiation is more than the heat lost through thermal radiation.

In addressing this culminating question, you should at least:

a. Conduct informational research on the topic. Summarize the results of this literature search and include references.

b. Use scientific terms correctly.

c. Describe how each of Earth’s five main vital signs would change or not change and explain. Use diagrams, extend the timeframes and add in what you think the graphs would look like.

d. Suggest why each condition might exist. What factors influence these conditions? How would these factors change to result in each of the conditions?

e. Back up your statements with references when possible. Some statements you make may be a result of connections among concepts that you have made on your own and other statements may be based upon a reliable resource that you have found through a literature search. Both are valid to use at this stage in the project. Be clear about which are which.

f. Be thorough. You are to use this last activity (Part 3) to try to demonstrate your maximum understanding, rather than just trying to meet minimum requirements.

5. Submit your work to the Assignments Folder by due date. Feel free to openly discuss this assignment in the weekly Forums.

Evaluation/Rubric

Consistent with course policy and with all prior and future evaluations, this work will be scored based upon the general rubric distributed at the beginning of this course. This general rubric encourages you to strive to demonstrate maximum understanding and not just meet minimum requirements. Keep this rubric in mind for every assignment you do. Make it R.EA.L. -- Reach. Expand. Achieve. Learn.

Additional Requirements 

Min Pages: 5 
Level of Detail: Only answer needed