Monday, August 19, 2019

Why CO2 Acts As A Thermal Blanket

Sometimes, things need to be explained in terms such that kids can then explain it to their parents. The Greenhouse Effect is one such topic:

As sunlight strikes an object, if it is white (like snow) then the photons mostly reflect off as light back into space. If the color of the surface is darker, then more of the photons are absorbed and converted into heat (infrared radiation). This heat gradually radiates away from the surface of the planet, with the only thing ‘slowing it down’ being the larger air molecules like carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, etcetera. Molecules like nitrogen and oxygen have no ability to absorb and reemit infrared radiation.

Supplemental easy explanation:

Two articles with excellent explanations: