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Fill one coffee can with dry soil and another with water.
Let each can remain in the classroom overnight so that they
will be equal in temperature. Then put thermometers to the
same depth in each can and place both cans outdoors in the
sunlight. After two hours, check the temperatures to see
which can is warmer and which is cooler. (The water should
be cooler.)

Describe experiences you have had walking barefoot from hot
pavement or land to a puddle or from a sandy beach to the

You should deduce that soil heats up more rapidly than water.

Next set a can of soil and a can of water equal in tempera-
ture in a refrigerator and check the temperatures every 10
minutes. You will find that the soil cools more quickly than
the water.

Such data can easily be graphed.

Soil or water temperatures influence the air above them.
That is, during the day land areas generally warm more
rapidly than water areas; thus the air above the land tends
to be heated and rise, while the cooler, heavier air over
the water areas pushes inland to replace it.

At night, the land areas generally cool more quickly, and the
exchange of air is reversed.

What does all this mean to people who live in a seaside town?
What does it mean to people who live in the California Great
Central Valley? What does it mean to people who live in

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