Weather and Water, First Edition

The FOSS Weather and Water Course focuses on Earth’s atmosphere, weather, and water. A good understanding of meteorology as an earth science isn’t complete without an introduction to the physics and chemistry that drive weather. Understanding weather is more than reading a thermometer and recording air-pressure measurements. Students first learn about atoms and molecules, changes of state, and heat transfer. Then they investigate the water cycle, air masses and fronts, winds, and severe weather.

Investigation 1: What is Weather? introduces the concept of weather and the tools that meteorologists use to measure and study weather factors.
Investigation 2: In Where's the Air? students learn that weather occurs in the atmosphere and that the atmosphere is composed of air, a mixture of gases, which has mass and can be compressed.
Investigation 3: In Seasons and Sun students learn that seasons are related to the amount of solar energy transferred to Earth, and that the amount of energy transferred is affected by latitude, tilt of the Earth's axis, revolution, and rotation.
Investigation 4: In Heat Transfer students investigate energy transfer from the Sun to Earth's surface and atmosphere through radiation and conduction.
Investigation 5: In Convection students learn that the concept of density on their way to understanding convection as a process of mass movement of fluids and a mechanism for energy transfer.
Investigation 6: In Water in the Air students investigate humidity - the water vapor in the air - to understand some of the variables that influence its transition from liquid to gas and from gas to liquid.
Investigation 7: In The Water Planet students learn that the water cycle is complex and involves water everywhere in the global environment.
Investigation 8: In Air Pressure and Wind students investigate the relationship between changing air pressure and wind.
Investigation 9: In Weather and Climate students learn the distinction between weather and climate, become familiar with air masses and fronts and are introduced to the concept of global warming.