What Is the Greenhouse Efect

Topics: Carbon dioxide, Greenhouse gas, Methane Pages: 2 (646 words) Published: April 17, 2013
* What is the greenhouse effect, and how does it work?
The greenhouse effect is when the short wave lengths of visible light from the son pass through a transparent medium. They are then absorbed but the longer wavelengths of the infrared re-radiation from the heated objects are unable to pass through that medium. The Greenhouse Effect is when there are various gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and even water vapor that traps the sun's energy, or heat, inside. When unable to escape the atmosphere the added solar energy results in warmer air temperature, just like the glass in a greenhouse traps the energy from the sun and keeps your plants warm. Some greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are a good thing. It keeps the earth from freezing. Too much causes excessive temperatures and stronger storms. Also not all the greenhouse gas that we emit to the atmosphere stays there indefinitely. For example the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the amount of CO2 dissolved in surface waters of the oceans stay in equilibrium, because the air and water mix well at the sea surface. Thus when we add more CO2 to the atmosphere, a proportion of it dissolves in the ocean. * What are the main greenhouse gases?

The main greenhouse gases are as followed carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated gases. Fluorinated gases are by far the most important greenhouse gases because of their strength or global warming potential. * What is the present level of atmospheric carbon dioxide? Why has carbon dioxide concentration risen since 1860? As of December 2012 our current atmospheric carbon dioxide level is at 394.39ppm. There are several reasons the concentration has risen since 1860. Burning of coal, oil, and natural gas releases about 6 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year worldwide. Also logging and burning of the natural forest contributes upwards of 2 billion tons annually since the trees are...

References: hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/grnhse.html
Done by Melissa McRoberts
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