Jump to this Animation »
What is the Greenhouse Effect?
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/basics/today/greenhouse-effect.html

US Environmental Protection Agency

This is an animation from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Students Guide to Global Climate Change, one of a series of web pages and videos about the basics of the greenhouse effect.

Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Earth's Energy balance
About Teaching Principle 1
Other materials addressing 1b
Greenhouse effect
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2c

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
7.3 Environmental quality.
Fossil and bio fuels are organic matter that contain energy captured from sunlight.
Other materials addressing:
4.3 Fossil and bio fuels contain energy captured from sunlight.
Earth's weather and climate is mostly driven by energy from the Sun.
Other materials addressing:
2.3 Earth's climate driven by the Sun.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor, are transparent to much of the incoming sunlight but not to the infrared light from the warmed surface of the earth. When greenhouse gases increase, more thermal energy is trapped in the atmosphere, and the temperature of the earth increases the light energy radiated into space until it again equals the light energy absorbed from the sun.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
By burning fuels, people are releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and transforming chemical energy into thermal energy which spreads throughout the environment.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Can be used to introduce the greenhouse effect and Earth's energy budget to students.
  • Can help clarify the common confusion and misconception about the greenhouse effect as a natural, not man-made, phenomenon.

About the Science

  • Excellent animation with narrative that discusses what the greenhouse effect is, how humans contribute to it and how this relates to global climate change.
  • Comment from expert scientist: The presentation is highly appropriate for kids and includes scientific information in a manner effective for the target group. I found no information that was not entirely consistent with the community's knowledge. The graphics were simple and easy to understand. The dialog was simple and measured, easy to comprehend. A very good presentation for young students.

About the Pedagogy

  • Clear graphical animations along with a narrative allow students to absorb information about the greenhouse effect and climate change in a meaningful way.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Easy to use, with links to related information and videos.

Jump to this Animation »



Have you used these materials with your students? Do you have insights to share with other educators about their use? Please share with the community by adding a comment below.

Please use this space only for discussion about teaching with these particular materials.
For more general discussion about teaching climate literacy please use our general discussion boards.
To report a problem or direct a comment to the CLEAN project team please use our feedback form (or the feedback link at the bottom of every page).
Off-topic posts will be deleted.

Join the Discussion


Log in to reply