Greenhouse effect and climate change

Parhelia (halo of light) at Casey
Parhelia (halo of light) at Casey (Photo: Jeff Wilson)

Research the greenhouse effect and climate change, especially the consequences of increased greenhouse gases.

The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane for example) trap energy from the sun. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space and Earth’s average temperature would be about 15°C colder. Because of how they warm our world, these gases are referred to as greenhouse gases [PDF].

  • Have students research the greenhouse effect and climate change.
    • What are the consequences of the increased accumulation of greenhouse gases?
    • How does human activity add to the greenhouse effect?
    • What is being done to reduce the greenhouse effect.
    • What do you think should be done?
    • What can you do?

Further information

CSIRO has a list of articles about greenhouse and climate change.

The Bureau of Meteorology also has a list of articles about climate change and the greenhouse effect.

Articles on climate change can be found on the Antarctic Division's website.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has an excellent site for kids.

Issue – global warming

The greatest environmental change seen in Antarctica so far is substantially reduced sea ice cover. This is probably linked to global warming. What is more important – to protect Antarctica from the impacts of activities in Antarctica, or protect it from the effects of activities elsewhere in the world?

This page was last modified on October 10, 2014.