Monday, December 17, 2018

The Elemental Science Behind Global Warming

The elemental force behind the greenhouse effect is the heat trapping quality of the atmospheric gases carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and fluorinated gases. The other elements of the atmosphere (nitrogen, oxygen and argon) are not greenhouse gases because they are transparent to the wavelengths of light responsible for trapping heat — they do not form molecules large and complex enough to block infrared light. Though water vapor is also a greenhouse gas, its levels are ultimately determined by the density of the others.