How Greenhouse Gases Absorb Heat

In this experiment, students will observe two model atmospheres: one with normal atmospheric composition and another with an elevated concentration of carbon dioxide. These two contained atmospheres will be exposed to light energy from a sunny window or from a lamp. The carbon dioxide is produced by a simple reaction and tested using bromothymol blue (BTB).

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American Museum of Natural History

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Make sure the jar lids are sealed.

The experiment could be performed with other inexpensive containers.

Educator may need to discuss how BTB acts as an indicator.

A video of a similar experiment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge0jhYDcazY.

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