Earth’s temperature is maintained with the aid of specific gasses in the atmosphere that retain heat. Those gases are referred to as the green house gasses. The ones that have the largest warming effect are water vapor (e.g. clouds) and carbon dioxide. There are other gases that have a lesser impact such as methane and nitrogen oxide.
In order to observe this we conducted an experiment in which we tested the impact of carbon dioxide on temperature. We had two jars that represented the two worlds, each had a bit of water in it as it represented the ocean or sea. The jars were sealed and displayed under equal lighting from a lamp, representing the sun. The only difference was that one of the worlds has a higher carbon dioxide concentration delivered in it. The temperature was then measured in each of the two worlds and the following data was observed:
The experiment was hence unsuccessful as the anticipated result was the opposite of the one presented above. Since the experiment was supposed to represent global warming, the world with the high carbon dioxide capacity should have had a higher temperature as the gas retains heat.
Reliability and limitations
The results are not reliable due to several limitations that hindered their accuracy:
- The experiment was carried out for a short time span. Global warming is a process that has been evolving for centuries and we only observed our model of the world for about 30 minutes. Perhaps if they were left for a longer time, the results would have been different as it would have given the CO2 more time to increase the temperature. Next time it should be left over a longer period of time.
- The two jars were put under a lamp but they were also surrounded by broad daylight which may have affected the result. The position of the lamp was also decided by hand and hence could have led to some minor inequalities. Next time the experiment could be done in a dark room as to limit other sources of light and represent space.
- The thermometer values were often between two bars at which each group rounded differently, leading to a difference in results. In the future we should strive to be exact as possible or agree to always round at either the higher or lower value.
- In order to seal the jars we used clingfilm which is not very reliable as it hardly sticks to round surfaces and could leave holes. This can alter the CO2 quantity within the world as the gas could just escape through the openings. In order to prevent this, I suggest next time we use an actual, impermeable lid.