ACS Climate Science Toolkit | How Atmospheric Warming Works

An online reading to help students understand the energy balance of planet earth, Stefan-Boltzmann’s Law and solar energy flux received by planet Earth to calculate its surface temperature. This resource can be used to demonstrate the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere by calculating the surface temperature of a bare blackbody earth, a blackbody earth with a 1-layer atmosphere.

N-Layer Blackbody Atmosphere

This model/simulator shows the greenhouse effect of the Earth’s atmosphere and planetary energy balance of incoming solar radiation and outgoing radiation from the planet. Students/learners are presented with a model Earth having two atmospheric layers and they of can manipulate “the absorptivity/emissivity of each atmospheric layer, the amount of convective heat flux transferred at each level, the intensity of solar radiation, and the albedo of the planet and determine the resulting temperature of the surface and each layer of the atmosphere as well as the magnitude of each heat transfer.”