Climate Change Lesson 3 : The Greenhouse Effect

Students will be able to:

1. Compare the heat trapping mechanisms of the major greenhouse gases as well as their abundance and heat trapping capacity.

2. Distinguish between natural and human-caused sources of greenhouse gases.

3. Describe how carbon dioxide and water vapor cause the greenhouse effect.

Michigan Grade Level Content


Grade 6-7 Science:

• Describe the origins of pollution in the atmosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere (car exhaust, industrial emissions, acid rain and natural sources) and how pollution impacts habitats, climatic change, threatens or endangers species. E.ES.07.42 Describe the atmosphere as a mixture of gases. E.FE.07.11

HS Earth Science:

• Explain the natural mechanism of the greenhouse effect, including comparisons of the major greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone). E5.4A

• Compare and contrast the heat-trapping mechanisms of the major greenhouse gases resulting from emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorocarbons) as well as their abundance and heat-trapping capacity. E5.4g

HS Biology:

• Describe the greenhouse effect and list possible causes. B3.4d

Climate Literacy Principles

• #2. Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the earth system.

• #3. Life on earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate.

• #4. Climate varies over space and time through both natural and man made processes.

• #6. Human activities are impacting the climate system.

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