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Earth Systems Science Core
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How Do Interactions Change Weather?

Earth is a closed system much like a sealed terrarium, in which sunlight is the only outside source of change. The atmosphere is affected by the biosphere, the hydrosphere and the lithosphere. All of these spheres are contained within the closed system of Earth. The sun's energy provides an outside source of energy. Space debris such as meteorites or space dust usually produces only minor changes in Earth's systems.

Try It:

Research ways the biosphere, hydrosphere and lithospheres affect weather. Topics you might investigate include:

  • Volcanic ash
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream or El Niño
  • Mountain range affects on climate
  • Photosynthesis of plants or algae
  • Changes in vegetation, such as burning fields or cutting trees.


  1. Use your research to prepare a presentation, using video, multimedia or a poster.
  2. Describe the topic you researched.
  3. Provide the evidence you uncovered showing a link between the topic and Earth's weather.
Review science lab safety rules here.

Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE Earth Systems Science core.


Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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