Model/ Simulator: The Greenhouse Effect

smoke coming out of factory pipes
Photo by Pixabay on

An interactive simulation to explore the role of different greenhouse gases in causing the greenhouse effect. This PhET simulation titled, ‘The Greenhouse Effect’ by University of Colorado, Boulder, helps to visualize the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere.

Students will learn how certain gases in the atmosphere absorb outgoing terrestrial radiation and re-radiate the energy back to Earth’s surface. Using the simulation, they will also be able to adjust the concentration of different greenhouse gases and to note the corresponding surface temperatures of the planet. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What are greenhouse gases?
  2. What is the ‘greenhouse effect’ of the Earth’s atmosphere?
  3. Discuss how varying concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cause global warming. 

About the tool

Tool NameThe Greenhouse Effect
Topic(s) in DisciplineGreenhouse Effect, Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Global Warming
Climate Topic Greenhouse Effect; Introduction to Climate Change
Type of tool Simulation
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LanguageEnglish, French, German, and Spanish
Developed byPhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado
Hosted atPhET Interactive Simulations Website
Computer SkillsBasic