Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

The Greenhouse Effect

Figure from experiment 15 from Agricultural Science with Vernier


Greenhouses allow gardeners to grow plants in cold weather. This is because the air inside the greenhouse stays warmer than the outside air. Short wavelength radiation from the sun passes through the glass, warming the interior of the greenhouse. The longer-wavelength radiation emitted does not pass through glass and is trapped in the greenhouse. This, along with the lack of mixing between the inside and outside air, keeps the greenhouse consistently warm.

On a larger scale, the greenhouse effect helps keep our planet warm. Short wavelength radiation from the sun passes through the atmosphere, warming the Earth. The longer wavelength energy is then trapped by certain gases called greenhouse gases. The greenhouse gases most responsible are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

In this experiment, you will use two Temperature Probes to measure and compare the temperatures in model greenhouses under various conditions. In Part I, you will investigate the role of a plastic covering over the top of the model greenhouse. In Part II, you will investigate the effect of increased levels of two greenhouse gases ­– water vapor, H2O, and carbon dioxide, CO2


In this experiment, you will

  • Use Temperature Probes to measure temperatures in a model greenhouse and a control.
  • Use the results to make conclusions about the greenhouse effect.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Agricultural Science with Vernier »

Experiment 15 from Agricultural Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Agricultural Science with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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