NetLogo models library contains a climate change model that can be used with students to examine the interplay between the amount of incoming sunlight, the Earth's albedo, cloud cover and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere in determining temperature. Through visual cues, the model emphasizes that incoming solar radiation is either reflected or absorbed by the Earth and that solar radiation that is absorbed gets converted into heat energy that can leave the Earth's surface as infrared radiation. It also depicts CO2 molecules blocking infrared radiation from leaving Earth's atmosphere, thus contributing to the Earth's greenhouse effect.
You can either run this application in your web browser or download the application. Instructions for how to use the model are provided on the website and include prompts you can provide to your students as they explore this model. By controlling the speed of the model, students can even monitor an individual ray of sunlight and observe what happens once it hits the Earth.
Alignment to NC Essential Standards (grades 9-12)