Greenhouse Effect How do greenhouse gases affect the climate? Explore the atmosphere during the ice age and today. What happens when clouds are added? Change the concentration of greenhouse gases and see how the temperature changes. Then compare the effect of crystals. Zoom in and see how light interacts with molecules Do all gases in the atmosphere contribute to the greenhouse effect?
Radiation balance on Earth
This animation summarizes the various factors involved in the Earth's radiation balance.
Water vapor is an important greenhouse gas. The water molecule is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom bonded together by a covalent bond. That is, the two hydrogen atoms and the oxygen atom are bonded together by sharing electrons. Its formula is H2O.
Methane is the simplest alkane hydrocarbon, whose chemical formula is CH4. Each of the hydrogen atoms is bonded to carbon by a covalent bond. It is a non-polar substance that occurs as a gas at ordinary temperatures and pressures. It is colorless, odorless and insoluble in water.
Carbon dioxide, whose chemical formula is CO2, is a compound of carbon and oxygen that exists as a colorless gas at standard temperature and pressure conditions. Prior to the 2005 IUPAC standards, it was also known as carbonic anhydride.