Topic 18:  Chemistry of the Air and Green Chemistry

In this WebQuest you need to:

  1. Explain that infrared radiation is absorbed by C=O, O–H and C–H bonds in H2O, CO2 and CH4, and that these absorptions contribute to global warming;
  2. Explain that the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ of a given gas is dependent both on its atmospheric concentration and its ability to absorb infrared radiation;
  3. Outline the importance of controlling global warming resulting from atmospheric increases in greenhouse gases;
  4. Outline the role of chemists in minimising climate change resulting from global warming by:
    • Providing scientific evidence to governments to verify that global warming is taking place;
    • Investigating solutions to environmental problems, such as carbon capture and storage;
    • Monitoring progress against initiatives such as the Kyoto protocol.

You can present your work in various ways:

  • As a webpage on your website
  • As a video using Xtranormal or other free video tools
  • As a newspaper article
  • As a scientific journal
Helpful Links

Acid rain

This is from the excellent US Environmental Protection Agency site. There is a mass of information including some experimental work.

Climate change

An intelligent (and hype-free) summary of the current thinking of those who believe that carbon dioxide is a major driver of climate change. From the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The sceptics' view of climate change

This site provides summaries of articles and other information from climate change sceptics (including scientists) from all over the world. It is added to daily. Beware! - if you read this regularly and open-mindedly for two or three weeks, you will find it quite difficult to accept the view that carbon dioxide is the main driver of climate change.


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