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Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Data

Regional Focus

Global

IR Window for Greenhouse Gases

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Synopsis
  • In this activity, students can use an interactive graph to examine the infrared (IR) spectrum of specific greenhouse gases. 
  • Students can see how much IR radiation certain greenhouse gases absorb in our atmosphere based on their current concentrations. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Students are able to explore four different graphs and eight different greenhouse gases.
  • Students are able to differentiate how much IR radiation certain greenhouse gases are actually absorbing in our atmosphere.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students must have their devices and an Internet connection to be able to access this activity.
  • Students must be familiar with the greenhouse gases, the greenhouse effect, IR absorption, and global warming potential (GWP).
  • Students and teachers can use the "Help" and "Display Options" menus at the top for additional information.

Differentiation

  • Students could discuss and analyze the table that includes the atmospheric residence time and GWP for the greenhouse gases to discuss how those values affect the ability of different gases to increase global warming.
  • Chemistry or physics teachers could invite students to interpret the graph's curve that is presented in the Black Body Curve option.
  • Other resources related to this topic include a lesson plan about Heating It Up: The Chemistry of the Greenhouse Effect and Greenhouse Gases: A Closer Look.
Scientist Notes
This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-4. Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
      • HS-ESS2-6. Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
    • PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
      • HS-PS4-4. Evaluate the validity and reliability of claims in published materials of the effects that different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation have when absorbed by matter.
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