Global warming is: A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide. The electromagentic spectrum is important to understand as a number of environmental issues depend on it.
Cosmic rays, gamma rays, and X-rays are important to understanding nuclear radiation. The energies are very high and will break bonds in molecules and ionize atoms and molecules. Ultraviolet radiation is important in understanding the formation and function of the ozone layer in the protection from skin cancer. The energy of UV radiation is sufficient to break bonds in some molecules. Infrared radiation is important to understanding the Greenhouse Effect and global warming. The energy is much lower and is only able to vibrate and bend atoms involving bonds of molecules. EXAMPLES OF GREENHOUSE GASES:
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Nitrous oxide (N2O)
Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6)
Chlorinated fluorocarbons (CFCs)
Natural Causes of Global Warming
Natural causes have been contributing to global warming since before recorded history. Most experts do not believe that natural causes alone are substantial enough to result in the climate changes currently taking place on the planet. Sunspots
Increased solar activity changes the Earth's solar radiation levels, thereby causing short-term warming cycles. Sunspots are dark patches on the sun's surface that block hot solar plasma. Although this blocking action might appear to reduce solar radiation, the opposite is true. Surrounding sunspots are bright patches known as faculae. These patches give off greater than normal radiation, and they are more powerful than the darker, cooler patches. This means that the total average energy over a 30-day solar rotation increases. Arctic Tundra
An estimated 50 tons of carbon are frozen in the tundra. Warmer global temperatures are causing the arctic tundra to...