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Understanding the greenhouse effectFeatured science projectScience project video


This science fair project was conducted to find out how different surface conditions affect atmospheric temperatures caused by the greenhouse effect. The testing was done using a surface of water, sand, black soil and carpet grass.


Carpet grass surfaces have the least amount of increase in temperature due to the greenhouse effect

Scientific Terms

Greenhouse effect, infrared radiation, atmosphere, ozone


Greenhouse effect

Greenhouse effect is caused by the absorption of heat by greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane gases and the ozone. Although these greenhouse gasses make up only about 1% of the gasses in our atmosphere, they act like a blanket, trapping heat and regulating our planet’s temperatures and climate.

Although the greenhouse effect is important for maintaining temperatures and sustaining life on our planet, too much of greenhouse gas, causes global warming. Activities such as the burning of fossil fuel, farming, industrial gas emission, deforestation and a growing population has increased the rate of release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, at alarming rates. This causes too much heat to be trapped within our atmosphere, and consequently, a gradual but certain increase in surface temperatures.

The increase of our surface temperatures around the globe is causing climate and weather changes across the planet. Cloud formations, wind, rain and seasonal patterns are changing. This is also causing sea levels to rise. Habitats of flora and fauna are also changing due to rising temperatures and this is resulting in species migration and extinction.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Hobby store and gardening supplies depot
Safety concerns:

Adult assistance is required for operation of the drill