Greenhouse Effect in a Greenhouse

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
6 7 8
Organization:Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Summary:The greenhouse effect is the name scientists use to describe how heat accumulates in Earth's atmosphere. A majority of the energy from the Sun arrives at Earth as visible radiation. This energy passes through our atmosphere and warms Earth's surface. The warmed surface re-emits invisible infrared radiation (heat). Some of this infrared radiation is absorbed by our atmosphere. Our atmosphere absorbs more of the infrared radiation when water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane are present. The more readily the infrared radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere, the greater the net energy gain from sunlight because less energy is lost to outer space. In this activity, you will use a temperature sensor to relate changes in sunlight to the temperature of the air trapped in a container.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 9
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS3.C; ESS3.D
NGSS Performance Expectations:MS-ESS3-3; MS-ESS3-4; MS-ESS3-5
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering); Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering); Engaging in argument from evidence
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Stability and change
Subjects: atmosphere; climate; climate change; earth; energy; sun
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