Jump to this Activity »
Heating it Up: The Chemistry of the Greenhouse Effect

ExplainingClimateChange.com, King's Centre for Visualization in Science

This lesson explores the chemistry of some of the greenhouse gases that affect Earth's climate. Third in a series of 9 lessons from an online module entitled 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change'.

Instructional sequence will take at least 2 hours to complete.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Climate Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Energy Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Energy Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

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

  • Since the activity is well built and easy to follow, students could complete the activity/material as homework, and classroom time could be used to discuss the visualizations and material.
  • Lesson is all-inclusive and packaged well.
  • All 9 lessons in this module are included in the CLEAN collection.

About the Content

  • The activity provides excellent explanations and visualizations to learn about the chemistry of greenhouse gases and climate change.
  • No supporting material is provided, but the scientific scope of the activity is well outlined in the activity.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    This resource explains the basic physical science behind climate change. It does so using clear, concise language with good, intuitive examples. Click-through definitions are provided for all jargon and problems are well-conceived and force the reader to pause and think about what they have just learned. It uses up-to-date information and delves into complex concepts such as IR absorption. Overall, I think it is a well-written and constructed resource.

    The information presented is very basic, similar to a school textbook, but there are no links or references provided anywhere in the material. While this may be appropriate as a primary government resource, I think the material would be more credible if it linked to other appropriate primary resources.

    For example, in Lesson 3, Key Idea 6, the site presents the statement: “Some greenhouse gases have increased in the last two hundred years due to human activities.” This would be a perfect spot to link to the IPCC report, a NASA or NOAA web site, or other primary resource that provides evidence for this statement. Not only would this be good scientific practice to cite primary data, but also provide the reader with a link to more detailed and expansive set of information.

About the Pedagogy

  • The activity provides opportunities for inquiry and experimentation for students while using visualization applets, which provide an excellent tool for students to understand complicated subject matter.
  • Excellent pedagogical organization, beginning with the assessment of students' prior knowledge.
  • Students progress through five key ideas.
  • Vocabulary terms are clickable and defined on the spot.
  • Each key concept provides ample contextual clues, and a review is provided that evaluates students' knowledge via summative assessment questions.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The activity is set up very well to guide students through the material.
  • It is technically very easy to use, with good explanations on how to use the applets.
  • Very comprehensive content built directly into the interface of this activity.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Full module at http://www.explainingclimatechange.ca/Climate%20Change/Lessons/lessons.html.
Entered the Collection: December 2017 Last Reviewed: March 2016

Jump to this Activity »