Energy Flow

ENERGY FLOW is about the way energy flows through the atmosphere, oceans, land, and living things. Analyzing the flow of energy is a very useful way to understand Earth systems. For example, through laboratory investigations, your students will explore the process of convection, and see how this proces is used to understand earthquakes and volcanoes, global winds, and ocean currents. In other lab activities they will experiment with the variables that affect water flowing through a bottle, and then apply their insights about dynamic equilibrium to understanding how the greenhouse effect is expected to change the Earth’s climate. In the last chapter your students will learn about how some of the energy that flows through living systems has been stored, over millions of years, in the form of fossil fuels; and how that energy is being released to power our civilizations for a few short decades. With this background, your students are asked to think about how the flow of energy through Earth systems affects their daily lives, and how life might be different for their children and grandchildren.

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