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Climate Change Science Experiment: The Greenhouse Effect

April 16, 2023

Want to know about climate change? As a kid in today’s modern world, you have probably heard about problems with “greenhouse gases,” but what the heck are they and how does it make the climate here on Earth change? We are here to answer your burning questions and even give you a chance to see it for yourself in action. 

What Are Greenhouse Gases? 

Carbon dioxide (or CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted from us humans here on planet Earth. CO2 and other greenhouse gases, such as methane, nitrous oxide and more, are gases that trap the Earth’s heat inside its atmosphere.  

When the sun shines its beautiful rays down to us here on Earth, only some of that heat is supposed to hang out before getting mostly released at nighttime. Greenhouse gases are dangerous because they trap more heat than what is supposed to remain, causing temperatures here on Earth to rise. That is why you hear about the ice caps melting in the Arctic and polar bears being in danger. It is because of these temperature increases that our climate is beginning to change. 

What Causes Greenhouse Gases? 

The short answer is human activity. We are the main cause of the overabundance of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels for heat, electricity and to power our cars is the biggest cause because these activities emit CO2 into the atmosphere.  

Let’s See it in Action! 

We are going to see climate change in action with this experiment. All you need is a glass or clear plastic container and two thermometers. Here is what you do: 

When you went back, what did you see? Did they both have the same temperature reading? What you may have found was that the thermometer in the container had a higher temperature than the one that was just sitting in the sun. That is because you used the container to trap the heat, much like greenhouse gases trap heat here on Earth. The climate inside of your container was much hotter, right? Now you know how climate change works! 

Want to Know What to Do About It? 

Read through the rest of this issue of Boomerang for more information on how you can help the planet!