This lesson explores the chemistry of some of the greenhouse gases that affect Earth's climate. Third in a series of 9 lessons from an online module entitled 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change'.

Students model the effect of greenhouse gases on Earth's atmosphere. They find that greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are uniquely shaped to catch and pass on infrared radiation, and so they are responsible for the warmth we enjoy on Earth. The children discuss how the addition of greenhouse gases by human activities leads to further warming and what steps we can take to slow it.

This is a teaching activity in which students learn about the connection between CO2 emissions, CO2 concentration, and average global temperatures. Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between these and learn about climate modeling while predicting temperature change over the 21st century.

This resource is designed as a module with a storybook or web story, and four activities. In the storybook, the GLOBE Kids investigate colors in the sky and learn how air pollution affects sky color and our health. Learning activities engage students in describing sky color and conditions in the atmosphere, creating a model to learn how sky color and visibility are affected by aerosols, using prisms to explore properties of light and colors, and collecting aerosol samples.