Hot Box: What is the Greenhouse Effect? (page 2)
Terrariums (closed containers housing small plants and possibly some small animals such as snails, frogs, or snakes) can be used to simulate, though not exactly, the effect of increased solar radiation. Prepare two small, identical terrariums using instructions from a nursery or a book on building terrariums. Insert a thermometer in each terrarium. Place one terrarium near a window where it will receive direct sunlight most of the day. Place the other terrarium away from direct sunlight, but in a lighted area. Observe both terrariums for at least 30 days. Take photos of the terrariums at the beginning and then on random days during the experiment. Find out more about the ozone layer and how people are causing it to change. Use this information to prepare a poster, and display it along with the terrariums.
- The gases in the Earth's atmosphere keep the Earth from cooling too quickly at night. Simulate the atmosphere's effect on temperature by preparing two boxes as in the original experiment, but leave one box uncovered. Put the boxes outdoors in a sunny area for 3 hours, and then place them inside the house in a dark area such as a closet. Read the thermometers every 15 minutes for 1 hour and then every 30 minutes for at least 2 hours thereafter.
- Ozone is a form of oxygen that contains three combined oxygen atoms; the oxygen we breathe contains two combined oxygen atoms. The largest amount of ozone exists at a height between 10 and 20 miles (16 and 32 km) above the Earth's surface; this area of the atmosphere is called the ozone layer. Some scientists think that reduction of the ozone layer would allow more radiation from the Sun to reach the Earth's surface, eventually causing climate changes.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.