# The Greenhouse Effect

As a Middle School or High School Environmental Sciences teacher, you can use this lesson plan to teach about the Greenhouse Effect of the Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson plan will explain what are Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), what is the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of atmospheric Greenhouse Gases, and how increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can cause global warming of the planet.

The Earth’s atmosphere is made up of several gases. It allows incoming solar radiation to enter and warm the Earth’s surface which then radiates energy back into space. Some gases in the atmosphere absorb the outgoing terrestrial radiation and re-radiate it back to the Earth, thereby increasing Earth’s surface temperature. These gases are called Greenhouse Gases and this warming is known as the Greenhouse Effect. Important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere include carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ), water vapor (H 2 O), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O). Since the beginning of the industrial age, increased greenhouse gas emissions have potentially led to global warming of the planet. This lesson plan includes reading and activity-based resources to teach your students about the Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming and the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of atmospheric Greenhouse Gases. Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Environmental Sciences or Chemistry.

Grade Level: Middleschool, Highechool
Discipline: Environmental Science, Chemistry
Topics in Discipline: Greenhouse Effect, Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), Greenhouse Gas Emissions,Global Warming, Global Warming Potential (GWP)
Climate Topic: Introduction to Climate Change, The Greenhouse Effect
Location: Global
Languages: English
Access: Online, Offline
Duration: 50-60 min

Learning outcomes

  • understand the Greenhouse Effect of Earth’s atmosphere
  • list some important greenhouse gases
  • understand the relationship between atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and planetary surface temperature
  • discuss the anthropogenic contribution to global warming and climate change