Absorption by atmospheric gases of incoming and outgoing radiation

In this activity, students use the absorption spectra of greenhouse gases to explore the nature of the greenhouse effect.

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Sara Harris
University of British Columbia
CLEAN Community Collection

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The science is somewhat abstract, so educator should visit with each group to make sure they are on the right track before the jigsaw groups switch roles.

Students will need to have some prior knowledge of Earth's energy spectrum and greenhouse gases before effectively being able to complete this assignment.

While written for undergraduate level, this resource can be used at high school level with modifications (e.g. background material and rubric).

Great opportunity to address the misconception that heat is trapped and cannot escape our atmosphere.