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Section 2: Climate and Biomes
In this section of the lab, you will work with Google Earth, a dynamic interactive map visualization tool. If your computer doesn’t have Google Earth installed, download and install the free program. Access the Google Earth download page then download and install the free version of Google Earth for your operating system (there are Mac and PC versions).
You will observe temperature patterns, biome types, and climographs (graphs of climate descriptors) from selected cities around the world. As you work though the links and images in this activity, please note how climate, a long-term average of weather patterns, shapes the life of a region. Please go to the following link: https://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/weather/4b.html
Go through the activity (Climate and Biomes â€“ Part B: Biomes and Climatology Comparison) carefully. After downloading Google Earth, start on the section â€œDownload and save the Biomes and Climate Project fileâ€. Answer all the â€œStop and Thinkâ€ questions:
1. How do the biomes change as you go from west to east across the United States? Use your knowledge of regional climate forces (e.g. latitudinal variation, continentality, topography, etc) to explain this pattern.
2. Look for two cities around the world that share a biome type and compare their climographs. Do they have similar temperatures and receive similar patterns of precipitation? Do a google search and find out their elevation and latitude? Are these two factors similar too?
3. Describe the animals and vegetation that you see in the images of the climate zones.
4. How does climate and life vary around Earth’s surface? You can base your answer on specific examples from this Google Earth project.
5. Imagine you are a natural scientist (are you familiar with Alexander Von Humboldâ€™ts work if not, check this website) and have been charged with describing how climate and biomes change as you travel north to south across a continent along one line of longitude. Write three or four paragraphs describing your imaginary journey by bus, train, car, or even horseback, from the North Pole to the equator. Tell your readers how the vegetation and animal life change as you travel south. Are the transitions gradual or abrupt? Use words to create a set of visual images for your readers. Be sure to include which line of longitude you are traveling on your journey. Optional: add images of the plants and animals that you saw on your journey
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