Header Image of the Earth

Topic #3: Climate Forcing Factors


Bloom's Taxonomy

Learning Objectives

Upon successfully completing this topic's activities, you will be able to:

  • Define internal and external forcing factors.
  • Discuss the effect that different forcing factors have on Earth’s climate.
  • Diagram the carbon cycle and explain why carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere.
  • Describe various effects of atmospheric greenhouse gas accumulation.
Video Videos

Solar Orbit. This video explains external climate forcing factors.

Electromagnetic. This video explains internal climate forcing factors.

Greenhouse Effect. This video explains the greenhouse effect.

GCMs. This video describes models scientists use to explain global climate.




Exercise 2 should familiarize you with using primary sources in research. You will learn about the difference between primary and secondary sources, and why reading primary sources is important. You will learn about the organization and layout of a scientific article. You will learn how to read an article critically and how to summarize the main points of an article. This exercise is specifically aimed at reading a primary article on a Global Climate Model. You are asked to read Jeong et al. (2011) and answer questions about each section of the article. You are asked to summarize the main points of the article and praise and criticize several points of the article.