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The Greenhouse Effect


A visualisation to observe, understand, explore, and analyze the molecular structure of carbon compounds (CO2, CH4), the effect of electromagnetic radiation on these molecules, and the role of greenhouse gases in climate change.

Students will visualise the molecular structure of atmospheric gases, and the effect of infrared photons on these molecules. They will change the composition of the atmosphere to understand the greenhouse effect and its impact on the Earth’s temperature.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How do atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules interact with electromagnetic radiation?
  2. What is the greenhouse effect of the Earth’s atmosphere?
About Tool
Tool Name The Greenhouse Effect
Discipline Chemistry
Topic(s) in Discipline Molecular Structure of Compounds, Carbon Chemistry, Greenhouse Gases, Electromagnetic Radiation, Carbon Compounds (CO2, CH4)
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere, Greenhouse Effect
Type of tool Model/Simulation
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder
Hosted at PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder
Access Online, Offline
Computer Skills Basic


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