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ZingPath: Human Impact on Resources

Greenhouse Effect

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Human Impact on Resources

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Lesson Focus

Greenhouse Effect

Earth & Space Science

Learning Made Easy

The greenhouse effect and its implications for global warming are explored through experimentation. Strategies we can implement to reduce global warming are also introduced.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • After completing this Activity Object, students will be able to:
  • Explain that greenhouse gases affect the Earth by preventing heat from escaping the atmosphere.
  • Identify the primary greenhouse gases as: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
  • Identify several commonly anticipated results of global warming.

Everything You'll Have Covered

The term greenhouse effect refers to the cycle of the sun transferring energy, in the form of heat, to Earth's surface, which in turn, radiates heat back into the atmosphere. There, it is trapped by certain gases, known as greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are primarily made up of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and nitrous oxide. Because the heat is not allowed to escape from the atmosphere, Earth and its atmosphere are in turn heated. When the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reaches extreme levels, it causes the Earth to heat up, thus causing global warming.

Global warming has been implicated in a relatively recent rash of natural disasters, including extreme fire seasons, flooding, increased hurricane activity, and the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps. Rising sea levels and elevated ocean temperatures are also having implications on Earth and our environment. Over the past 50 years, global temperatures have increased at the fastest rate in recorded history.

Scientists foresee escalating implications of global warming in the future, including severe water shortages in certain areas, coastal flooding, more intense and frequent hurricanes, new pests and related diseases, and the extinction of certain plant and animal species.

However, we can still make a difference in the fight against global warming. Changes to lifestyle and a renewed commitment to recycling and clean energy will help combat global warming by reducing greenhouse gases, as will legislative mandates controlling emissions.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts None
Course Earth & Space Science
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary atmosphere, carbon dioxide, conservation