A visualization 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 visualize 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 the Tool

Tool Name The Greenhouse Effect
Discipline Chemistry
Topic(s) in Discipline Interaction of Molecules with Electromagnetic Radiation, Molecular Structure of Carbon Compounds (CO2, CH4)
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere, The Greenhouse Effect
Type of Tool Interactive Visualization
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location  Global
Language English
Translation Many
Developed by PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder
Hosted at PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder
Link https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/greenhouse
Access Online, Offline
Computer Skills Basic