Compiled by Monica Bruckner at SERC and Mark Francek (more info) at Central Michigan University.

This section provides visualizations that show the function of greenhouse gases and ozone, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and density as well as atmospheric composition. Visualizations include simple animations, GIS-based maps, videos, as well as numerous illustrations and photos.

Click here to browse the complete set of Visualization Collections.

Atmospheric Composition and Properties 

Homers at Different Parks, University of Wisconsin (more info) This fun Java applet shows how altitude at different ball parks impact the distance a batted fly ball travels. Pick from a variety of cities from a variety of altitudes. To see the animation, set the speed of the ball leaving the bat and the angle, in degrees, of the ball leaving the bat. Pressing "hit it" will produce a crack of the bat and a dotted arched trajectory will appear showing the path of the ball. The distance the ball traveled is recorded for comparative purposes.
Properties of the Atmosphere, McGraw Hill (more info) This QuickTime animation, with accompanying audio, shows how temperature, pressure, and density change with increasing altitude. Whereas pressure decreases fairly uniformly with height, there are both increases and decreases in temperature with height. These temperature changes can lead to a good discussion of the role of ozone layer in the stratosphere and the distinction between heat and temperature patterns in the thermosphere.
Ozone Depletion, Prentice Hall (more info) This three step Flash animation begins by showing how the layers of the atmosphere screen out harmful ultraviolet radiation. The electromagnetic spectrum is displayed and different types of radiation are shown emitted from different portions of the spectrum. The second and third stages show ozone formation and destruction respectively.

The Greenhouse Effect 

NCAR - The Greenhouse Effect ( This site may be offline. ) This short animation demonstrates how greenhouse gases affect temperatures as a function of solar radiation.

Greenhouse Gas Molecules (more info) This page, from Beloit College, uses a Java application to allow users to view and rotate greenhouse gas molecules. Users may choose to view the molecule as a ball and/or stick model or a spacefill model.