Vocabulary: global warming, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gas, heat flow
Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.) [Note: The purpose of these questions is to activate prior knowledge and get students thinking. Students are not expected to know the answers to the Prior Knowledge Questions.]
1. What do you notice when you get into a car that has been sitting in the Sun for a while? Answers will vary. [The car is typically a lot hotter than the surrounding air.]
2. Why is the inside of the car so hot?
Answers will vary. [The sunlight passes through the glass windows of the car and heats the air inside. The hot air is trapped inside the car by the windows and does not mix with cooler outside air.]
3. How would things be different if the car’s windows were left open? Answers will vary. [If the car’s windows were left open, the temperature difference would not be as great because the heated air inside the car could mix with the cooler air outside.]
Like the windows of a car, greenhouse gases play a major role in regulating Earth’s climate. Without the gases that trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere, Earth would be a frigid desert like Mars (average temperature -55°C, or -67°F). Too much greenhouse gas and Earth could be a fiery inferno like Venus (average temperature 450°C, or 850°F).
On the Greenhouse Effect Gizmo™, set the Greenhouse gases to 0% and the Simulation speed to fast.
1. Click Play () and view the BAR CHART tab. The temperature will go up and down every day, but try to look at the overall trend. What happens to the temperature over time?
Over time, both the daily max and nightly minimum temperatures get lower and lower.
2. Now set the Greenhouse gases to 100% and let the simulation run for a while. How does a maximum amount of greenhouse gas affect the temperature?
Over time, both the daily max and nightly minimum temperatures get higher and...
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