Science, 2009
  Grade Level:   9-12  
  EALR 4:   Earth and Space Science  
  Big Idea:   Earth Systems, Structures, and Processes (ES2)  
  Core Content:   Energy in Earth Systems                   
  Description:   In prior grades students learned about planet Earth as an interacting system of solids, liquids, and gases, and about the water cycle, the rock cycle, and the movement of crustal plates. In grades 9-11 students learn how the uneven heating of Earth's surface causes differences in climate in different parts of the world, and how the tilt of Earth's axis with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun causes seasonal variations. Students also learn about the essential biogeochemical cycles that continuously move elements such as carbon and nitrogen through Earth systems. These major ideas about energy inputs and outputs in and around the Earth help students understand Earth as a dynamic system.  
  Content Standard:   9-11 ES2B Climate is determined by energy transfer from the sun at and near Earth's surface. This energy transfer is influenced by dynamic processes such as cloud cover and Earth's rotation, as well as static conditions such as proximity to mountain ranges and the ocean. Human activities, such as burning of fossil fuels, also affect the global climate.  
Students are expected to:
  • Explain the factors that affect climate in different parts of Washington State.