How does the Make-Up of the Atmosphere Affect Temperature?
In this demonstration, students explore the concept of greenhouse warming. They determine whether an increase in the amount of heat-trappping gases in the atmosphere can cause the temperature on Earth to rise. Students compare the relative heat retention in two experimental systems that are identical except for one being covered with plastic wrap. Materials required include two small aquarium tanks, plastic wrap, two clamp lamps with 60 watt bulbs, modeling clay, rocks and pebbles, and two thermometers. Teacher background information, student worksheets and a scoring rubric are included. This is Activity 1 of the module Too Many Blankets, part of the lesson series, The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change.