Albedo Lab

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Earth’s Energy Budget

Introduction:
This Albedo lab was created to help explain the process in which the Earth reflects solar energy back to space. The fraction of radiation reflected by an object is known as an albedo. In relation to the atmosphere, as solar radiation reaches certain colors on the surface of Earth, more radiation is absorbed by darker colors, which in turn decreases the solar radiation that reflects back to the atmosphere. If a person was interested in learning more about factors of global climate change, one might wish to begin to understand the process of albedo. However, the process of Albedo may also be related to an energy budget. An energy budget is a balance of energy income against expenditure, the solar radiation coming towards the Earth’s surface represents the income, and the albedo of solar energy leaving the Earth’s surface represents the expenditure. Through hypothetical reasoning, in Part A there will be a difference in solar absorption between the color variances, leading to differences in temperatures between the different colors of gum. In addition, in Part B there will be less solar absorption than in Part A, leading to the temperatures of the gum in Part B to be less hot. Materials:

(1) Lab Quest Thermometer with Temperature Probe
(3) Pieces of Black 5 Gum
(3) Pieces of Green 5 Gum
(3) Pieces of Blue 5 Gum
(1) Heat Lamp
(1) Ring Stand
(1) 12”x12” sheet of Cheesecloth
(6) Small Pieces of Parchment
(6) Holt Earth Science Textbooks
(1) Metric Ruler
(1) Large Sheet of Paper
(1) Cup of Cool Water
(1) Paper Towel
(1) Writing Utensil

Procedure:
1. All materials listed above must be gathered and placed on a sufficient working space. 2. Find the heat lamp, and ring stand.
3. Adjust the heat lamp so it rests freely on the ring stand. 4. The heat lamp must then be plugged into an outlet, causing the heat lamp to begin to function. 5. Apply water to the different types of gum.

6. Roll each color of gum into a single ball, leading to a result of a green ball of gum, blue ball of gum, and black ball of gum. 7. Place each ball of gum onto one piece of parchment.
8. The LabQuest must then be turned on.
9. Connect the temperature probe apparatus with the Lab Quest. 10. With the use of the plastic pen on the LabQuest, tap the bottom left hand side of the screen projected on the LabQuest. 11. From there scroll down until the rate of temperature taken is found. 12. Tap the box containing the rate of temperature taken. 13. Using the keyboard that pops up, change the rate from every .5 seconds to every 30 seconds. 14. Afterwards, go to the duration box on the screen, and enter 360 seconds using the keyboard described in the previous step. 15. Return to the page of the graph.

16. Stack three Earth Science books on each side of the heat lamp, leaving 6 inches of space for the light of the heat lamp to pass in between the books. 17. Create a table sufficient for recording the data that will be found within the experiment, meaning a table that can hold three different sets of data for 30-second intervals for 360 seconds. 18. Wrap the temperature probe with one of the gumballs on the sheet of parchment, and then quickly slide the paper parchment containing the gum in-between the stacked Earth Science books. 19. Then quickly press the green play button on the LabQuest to begin the graphing process of the temperature being recorded by the probe. 20. After 360 seconds, record the data found on the LabQuest into the previously drawn tables. 21. Place the temperature probe in the cup of cool water in order to cool it down to normal temperature. 22. Use the paper towel to remove any excess gum or water on the temperature probe. 23. Reset the data table on the LabQuest.

24. Repeat steps 18-23 for the remaining balls of gum.
25. Place the sheet of cheesecloth on top of the Holt Earth Science Textbooks....
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