Friday, September 27, 2019

Visible Light, Infrared Radiation and the Greenhouse Effect Defined

Visible light (short wave, higher frequency photonic energy) and infrared radiation (long wave, lower frequency photonic energy) are  part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
‘electromagnetic spectrum quantum physics’

When visible light strikes the surface of the Earth, that which is not reflected back into space is absorbed and converted into heat and is conducted throughout the material that absorbed it. 
‘what is heat temperature’

Any air that comes into direct contact with it absorbs some of it via conduction and is then convected away. 
‘what is heat transfer’

The remainder of the heat from the material’s surface is steadily emitted away as long waved infrared radiation. 
‘Infrared radiation’

It passes freely through the small molecules of the atmospheric gases nitrogen, oxygen and argon. However, the larger atmospheric molecules such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, etcetera have a ‘quantum mechanics’ based affinity for absorbing and re-emitting infrared radiation — thus, slowing down its escape into space. It is this ‘blanketing effect’ on infrared radiation that makes life on Earth possible — for without it there could be no liquid water on the planet. But, of course, it’s possible to have “too much of a good thing”.

Understanding the Greenhouse Effect: