c. The amount of solar energy absorbed or radiated by Earth is modulated by the atmosphere and depends on its composition. Greenhouse gases— such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane— occur naturally in small amounts and absorb and release heat energy more efficiently than abundant atmospheric gases like nitrogen and oxygen. Small increases in carbon dioxide concentration have a large effect on the climate system.

This is a ten-question quiz of basic to intermediate information about global climate change.

In this activity, students explore factors that have caused the rise in global temperature over the last century. Educators have the opportunity to assess how modeling activities (the game), analogies (the cake), and mathematical models (graphs) develop and change student mental models.

This animated video explains how the molecular structure of atmospheric gases can absorb and re-radiate infrared energy. The video uses simple models and analogies to aid in student understanding.

This short cartoon video uses a simple baseball analogy (steroid use increases probability of hitting home runs) to explain how small increases in greenhouse gases can cause global temperature changes and increase the probability of extreme weather events.

This video examines the thawing of permafrost due to changes in climate and shows examples of the impacts that warming temperatures have on permafrost in the Arctic, including the release of the greenhouse gas methane. Dramatic results are shown, including sink holes forming on the landscape and beneath buildings, roads, and other infrastructure, causing some communities to relocate.

In this video Dr. Richard Alley poses and addresses a simple question: What does carbon dioxide have to do with global warming?

This NASA video discusses the impacts of the sun's energy, Earth's reflectance, and greenhouse gases on the Earth System.

Students investigate how much greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide and methane) their family releases into the atmosphere each year and relate it to climate change. To address this, students use the Environmental Protection Agency Personal Emissions Calculator to estimate their family's greenhouse gas emissions and to think about how their family could reduce those emissions.

In this short video, atmospheric scientist Scott Denning gives a candid and entertaining explanation of how greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere warm our planet.

This short animated video provides a general overview of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, and the greenhouse effect.