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Thermal Radiation

Unit Plan: Urban Heat Island Lesson: 6
9-12Urban Ecosystems
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Driving Question: How does Earth’s surface cool?

Summary: The objective of this lesson is for students to understand that materials differ not only in how much energy they can reflect, but also in how much absorbed energy is needed to increase their temperature (Specific Heat).  This property also influences the rate at which materials lose heat when exposed to a cooler medium. The stored heat is referred to as Heat Capacity.  The Specific Heat/Heat Capacity of building materials in an urban area can contribute to their role in influencing the temperature of the City in terms of excess heat stored in structures.  The differences in Heat Capacity of materials could result in differences in when and how much the air is heated over a day/night cycle.  Teacher Note: You have two scheduled days for this topic.

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