Understanding global warming – The greenhouse effect (complex) © Siemens Stiftung 2022 CC BY-SA 4.0 international

Understanding global warming – The greenhouse effect (complex)


Interactive graphic:
Life on Earth would not exist without the natural greenhouse effect. However, the greenhouse gases produced by humans, such as carbon dioxide and methane, adversely intensify the greenhouse effect.

Englisch, Spanisch (CREA), Deutsch
Interaktiv (830,0 kByte)
The students should recognize that life on Earth as we know it would not be possible without the greenhouse effect. Three scenarios are presented on this topic: Earth without the greenhouse effect, the natural greenhouse effect, and the anthropogenically intensified greenhouse effect. The graphic shows what impact the complete lack of a greenhouse effect would have on Earth, how the natural greenhouse effect works, and what produces an additional – undesirable – anthropogenically intensified greenhouse effect. In the case of the anthropogenically intensified greenhouse effect, an animation shows what factors increase greenhouse gases and how this increase impacts the average temperature on Earth’s surface due to intensified atmospheric counter-radiation.

Information and ideas:
An albedo (the capacity of diffusely reflecting surfaces such as ice and snow to radiate back) of approx. 0.30 was assumed for the direct reflection of incident radiation with and without the atmosphere, since Earth is not an ideal black body.
The anthropogenically intensified greenhouse effect and changes in solar activity are the main causes of climate change! There is scientific consensus that both effects influence Earth’s climate. The percentage that the two effects have on change in Earth’s climate is not yet definitively clarified. This topic involves complex physics. In particular, the topic of radiation equilibrium proves difficult: Why does Earth’s temperature increase even though nearly 100% of the energy is radiated back?
Interactive graphic
Biology; Chemistry; Geography; Physics
Grade 7 to 9; Grade 10 to 13
Middle/high school
Climate change; Ecology; Emission (environment); Environment (general); Environmental protection; Greenhouse effect; Pollution of the environment; Renewable energy; Solar energy; Climate change; Ecology (environmental protection); Emission pollution; H5P
Siemens Stiftung Media Portal
media&data gmbh
© Siemens Stiftung 2022
Bleiben Sie auf dem Laufenden!

Etwa viermal im Jahr informieren wir Sie über neue Medien auf diesem Portal sowie aktuelle Studien und Veranstaltungen aus den Bereichen OER und MINT.

Medienportal Newsletter – jetzt anmelden

Etwa viermal im Jahr informieren wir Sie über neue Medien auf diesem Portal sowie aktuelle Studien und Veranstaltungen aus den Bereichen OER und MINT.



Liebe Nutzerin, lieber Nutzer,
El Portal de Medios – das spanische Medienportal – ist umgezogen und heißt nun CREA.
Auf CREA finden Sie weiterhin hochwertige Medien für den MINT-Unterricht und vieles mehr.

Dear User,
El Portal de Medios - the Spanish Media Portal - has moved and is now called CREA.
On CREA, you will continue to find high-quality media for STEM education and much more.

Estimado usuario, estimada usuaria,
El Portal de Medios – en español – ha sido trasladado y ahora se llama CREA.
En CREA seguirá encontrando medios de alta calidad para la enseñanza de STEM, y mucho más.

Zu CREA wechseln / Switch to CREA / Cambiar a CREA
CREA - El Portal de Medios para la Enseñanza STEM

Hierbleiben / Stay here / Quédate aquí:
Fenster schließen / Close window / Cerrar ventana