Sunday, November 18, 2018

Earth’s Atmosphere, Electromagnetic Radiation and the Greenhouse Effect

Why increased carbon dioxide causes global warming induced climate change:

“If we compare the Earth and its atmosphere to an apple and its skin, the skin of the apple is about 20 times thicker relative to the size of the apple than the atmosphere is to the size of the Earth.”

“The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of the following molecules: nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), argon (1%), and then trace amounts of carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, xenon, ozone, iodine, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. Lower altitudes also have quantities of water vapor.”

“All gases whose molecules have three or more atoms are greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor (H2O), and methane (CH4) are important greenhouse gases that have maintained Earth’s warm temperature for billions of years.”

“Electromagnetic radiation is a stream of photons, which are 'massless' particles each traveling in a wave-like pattern and moving at the speed of light. Each photon contains a certain amount of energy, and all electromagnetic radiation consists of these photons. The only difference between the various types of electromagnetic radiation is the amount of energy found in the photons. Radio waves have photons with low energies, microwaves have a little more energy than radio waves, infrared has still more, then visible, ultraviolet, X-rays, and ... the most energetic of all ... gamma-rays. Electromagnetic radiation from space is unable to reach the surface of the Earth except at a very few wavelengths, such as the visible spectrum, radio frequencies, and some ultraviolet wavelengths.”

“Visible light of the ‘electromagnetic spectrum’ passes through the atmosphere. It strikes and warms the surface of Earth as the result of being converted to infrared radiation (IR). Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases absorb and reradiate this heat. It is this heat index that is increased as the volume of greenhouse gases increases in the atmosphere.”