C13-The Earth’s atmosphere-Greenhouse gases lesson created in accordance to the NEW AQA Specification (9-1). Designed for a mixed ability year 11 separates class, although content can be adjusted to suit any ability. Includes: slide animations, embedded videos, and homework with answers as well as a interactive review task. If for any reason the video link does not work, a URL has also been included in the notes.
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AQA spec link: 220.127.116.11, 2,
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere maintain temperatures on Earth high enough to support life. Water vapour, carbon dioxide, and methane are greenhouse gases.
Students should be able to describe the greenhouse effect in terms of the interaction of short and long wavelength radiation with matter.
Some human activities increase the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These include:
• carbon dioxide
Students should be able to recall two human activities that increase the amounts of each of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.
Based on peer-reviewed evidence, many scientists believe that human activities will cause the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere to increase at the surface and that this will result in global climate change.
However, it is difficult to model such complex systems as global climate change. This leads to simplified models, speculation, and opinions presented in the media that may be based on only parts of the evidence and which may be biased.
Students should be able to:
• evaluate the quality of evidence in a report about global climate change given appropriate information
• describe uncertainties in the evidence base
• recognise the importance of peer review of results and of communicating results to a wide range of audiences.