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Greenhouse Effect

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Blackbody radiation and greenhouse effect

Suresh Dhaniyala
Clarkson University Potsdam NY

August 2011


Type:  Integrated unit with five separate interactive computer-based activities.

Length 3-4 45 minute periods

Content Area/Course: Earth science, Physics, and Chemistry

Targeted Grade Level:  8-12 (adaptable)

Prerequisite Knowledge/Skills: General internet navigation: basic understanding of atmospheric science

Technology/web resources: Internet access, Java-enabled

Thinking skill development: Comprehension, synthesis, evaluation

NASA resources used:


Students will use graphical tools to understand blackbody radiation, identify different spectrum ranges, learn about the interaction of atmospheric gases with radiation of different wavelengths, and recognize the relationship between greenhouse gases and global average temperature.  This unit provides a foundational understanding of the greenhouse effect and its role in controlling Earth’s temperature.