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Student Exploration- Greenhouse Effect (answers)

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Student Exploration- Greenhouse Effect (answers)

Student Exploration: Greenhouse Effect

Vocabulary: global warming, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gas, heat flow

Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)

1. What do you notice when you get into a car that has been sitting in the Sun for a while? 

2.Why is the inside of the car so hot? 

3.How would things be different if the car’s windows were left open?

Gizmo Warm-up

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

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? 

Question: How do greenhouse gases affect Earth’s climate?

Observe: Select the BAR CHART tab and click Play. After about 24 simulated hours, clickPause (). What do you notice about the heat flow into and out of Earth’s atmosphere? The heat flow in keeps rising as the day goes on and then dropping as it gets darker but the heat flow out stays the same.

Analyze: Select the TABLE tab.

At what time of day is heat flow into the atmosphere (Hin) greatest? 

At what time of day is heat flow into the atmosphere (Hin) least? 

Does heat flow out of the atmosphere (Hout) change during a day? 

At what time of day is surface temperature highest? Lowest? 

Predict: Click Reset. When you change the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which factor(s) do you expect to change? (Circle your answer/answers.)

Heat flow in   Temperature           

Experiment: Select the BAR CHART tab and click Play. While the simulation is playing, move the Greenhouse gases slider back and forth. What do you notice? 

Experiment: Click Play, and this time observe the GRAPH tab as you change the Greenhouse gases. What do you notice? 

Activity (continued from previous page)

Draw conclusions: The influence of greenhouse gases on temperature is called thegreenhouse effect. Based on what you have seen, how do greenhouse gases affect the heat flow into and out of Earth’s atmosphere? 

Extend your thinking: Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide have risen dramatically in the past century. Most scientists agree that this has begun to result in global warming, a slow increase in average temperature worldwide.


What are the possible consequences of global warming?  

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