Radiation balance: Greenhouse effect in the cup © Siemens Stiftung 2016 CC BY-SA 4.0 international

Radiation balance: Greenhouse effect in the cup


Graphic labeling:
Radiation balance for two experiment setups related to the greenhouse effect: an open plastic container as well as a plastic container with a lid and black paper.

English, Spanish (CREA), German
Image (96.6 kByte)
In this simplified model experiment, the container wall corresponds to the atmosphere and the black cardboard corresponds to the Earth’s surface (absorber). In the open container without an absorber (on the left), most of the relatively short-wave light shines unhindered through the container; only a small portion is reflected by the container wall and an even smaller portion is absorbed by the probe. The container’s interior barely warms up.
In the closed container with the absorber (on the right), the light shining into the container is mostly absorbed by the black cardboard. The heated cardboard emits radiation of longer wavelengths. This long-wave radiation is absorbed by the container’s wall and emitted as radiation: The container’s interior warms up.

Image legend:
1 Reflection at the container’s wall
2 Absorption by the probe
3 Absorption by the black cardboard
4 Long-wave radiation from the black cardboard
5 Absorption and reradiation by the container’s wall
6 Radiation by the container’s wall to the surroundings
There are no other media directly related to this file.
Biology; Chemistry; Geography; Physics
Grade 5 to 6; Grade 7 to 9; Grade 10 to 13
Middle/high school
Atmosphere; Greenhouse effect; Heat; Radiation (general)
Siemens Stiftung Media Portal
MediaHouse GmbH
© Siemens Stiftung 2016
Stay up-to-date!

About four times a year, we inform you about new media on this portal as well as current studies and events related to OER and STEM.

Media Portal newsletter – register now

About four times a year, we inform you about new media on this portal as well as current studies and events related to OER and STEM.

*Required fields


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