Uneven Heating of the Earth!

As you know, there are different climates all over the Earth.  We know that some parts of the Earth are warm all year around and that some parts of  the Earth never seem to warm up.  We also know that our little piece of the Earth seems to have four seasons with quite different weather during each season.  The question is what causes some parts of the Earth to be so warm, some so cold, and some just right?  The answer is…. I think I’ll make you work for the answer.  

You are going to complete an activity that will help you answer the question as to why some parts of the Earth are warmer than other parts.  You will

need to use the large globe, the heat lamp, the tripod, the remote thermometer, a timer, and collect some data.

Procedure:  Do not turn on the lamp yet.  Position the large globe so that the tripod/heat lamp can be shined upon it.  The heat lamp should be about 2 meters from the globe.  Do not turn on the lamp yet.  When you do, the light should be focused primarily upon the equator.  Extreme caution must be used!!!!! The heat lamp gets very hot, it will cause blisters on your skin almost immediately upon contact.  BE CAREFUL!

Do not turn on the light yet!!!!  There are several small yellow circles on the globe and they are labeled 1 - 5.  These are the data points (where you check the temperature).  Before you turn on the light, check the temperature at each of the data points.  Write the temperatures in the chart below.  To check the temperature, press the red button on the thermometer to turn on the laser pointer.  Now aim the thermometer towards one of the data points and pull the trigger.  The read out will let you know what the temperature is and the laser will help you hit the data point.  Use your timer to accurately time the data checks.

Data Point

Temp at

0 minutes

Temp at

2 minutes

Temp at

4 minutes

Temp at

6 minutes

Temp at

8 minutes






  1. What did you observe about the temperature at the different data points?

2. Which data point had the greatest temperature change and why?

3.  Which data point had the smallest temperature change and why?

4.  What do you think causes the differences in temperature on different parts of the Earth?