Greenhouse Effect

The title of the Project: Greenhouse effect

This virtual laboratory is intended for use in chemistry classes on the following topics:

  • 8th grade. Chapter VI. “Greenhouse effect”.

Purpose of the virtual laboratory work:

  • To study the effect of greenhouse gases on the temperature of the Earth’s surface.
  • To demonstrate how the greenhouse effect leads to global warming.
  • To raise awareness of the potential impacts of climate change.

Practical part

  1. Run the simulation. There are three modes available to you: “Waves”, “Photons” and “Layered Model”. Select the Photons mode. Click the “Start Sunlight” button to start the experiment.

  1. You will see the surface of the Earth, the sky with a cloud and a continuous stream of red and yellow photons. Yellow photons are emitted by the sun, and red photons are infrared photons that the Earth’s surface emits in response to solar radiation. You can increase the number of photons and also slow down their speed.

  1. There is a surface thermometer on the left. Click on the arrow to change the temperature unit: degrees Celsius (°C), degrees Fahrenheit (°F) or Kelvin (K). You can also display or remove the thermometer from the screen.

  1. Display the Energy balance indicator and photon Flux meter on the screen by checking the boxes. The color of the arrows corresponds to the colors of the photons. You can move the meter from top to bottom to measure the photon flux near the earth’s surface or atmosphere.

  1. On the right side of the screen there is a Greenhouse gas concentration regulator. You can move it from top to bottom, thereby changing the concentration of gases.

  1. Next to the slider, click on the calendar icon. This mode displays the history of changes in the temperature of the Earth’s surface in different periods, from the Ice Age to the present day.

  1. Quantitative data on greenhouse gas concentrations in parts per million (ppm) and billion (ppb) fractions are presented at the bottom of the screen.

Virtual experiment

  1.  Click the button and restart the simulation. Mark the initial value of the thermometer. Observe that red photons begin to divide only after yellow photons reach Earth’s surface. This increased activity contributes to the rising temperature, as indicated by the thermometer.

  1. Check the box in the “Energy Balance” and “FluxMeter” . Install a flux meter into the atmosphere. Now move it closer to the earth’s surface. What changes have you noticed? Describe the observed changes.

  1. Now study the effect of greenhouse gases on the temperature of the earth’s surface. Set the gas concentration to zero by moving the slider down to “None”. Pay attention to the thermometer scale. What temperature does it show? How have the arrows on the flux meter changed?

  1. Now move the slider up to the value “Lots”. Take a look at the thermometer. What changes have taken place? Pay attention to the red photons, how would you describe the change in their behavior?

  1. Draw conclusions about the experience.


The virtual simulation “Greenhouse Effect” allows you to visually demonstrate how greenhouse gases affect the temperature of the Earth’s surface. With the help of the simulation, students can:

  • Observe the flow of photons from the sun and infrared photons from the Earth.
  • Measure the temperature of the Earth’s surface at various concentrations of greenhouse gases.
  • Compare the temperature in different historical periods.
  • Assess the potential impacts of climate change.


Energy – Энергия – Энергия

Photons –  Фотоны – Жарық фотондары

Sunlight – Солнечный свет – Күн сәулесі

Infrared – Инфракрасный – Инфрақызыл

Greenhouse gas concentration – Концентрация парниковых газов – Жылыжай газдарының концентрациясы

Energy balance – Энергетический баланс – Энергиялық тепе-теңдік

Flux meter – Измеритель потока – Ағым өлшеуіші

Surface thermometer – Поверхностный термометр – Беттік термометр

Solar intensity – Интенсивность солнечного излучения – Күн сәулесінің қарқындылығы

Surface albedo – Альбедо поверхности – Жер бетінің альбедосы

Absorbing layers – Поглощающие слои – Сіңіру қабаттары 

Infrared absorbance – Поглощение инфракрасного излучения – Инфрақызыл сәулелердің жұтылуы