How Does Carbon Dioxide Affect Climate – The fact that water vapor is the dominant absorber of the Earth’s greenhouse effect can lead to the assumption that anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) is not important or a significant contributor to climate warming. I have always thought that this legend concluded that nitrogen (78% of the atmosphere) is more important to human respiration than oxygen (21%) because it is more abundant. Such oversimplification can be very misleading. Worth noting is the science of whether water vapor or CO2 “wins” at global warming.
The American Chemical Society’s Climate Science Toolkit makes this point with an excellent analysis on its website:
- 1 How Does Carbon Dioxide Affect Climate
- 2 What Is Climate Change? A Really Simple Guide
- 2.1 The Greenhouse Effect And The Global Energy Budget
- 3 Climate Change Impacts
How Does Carbon Dioxide Affect Climate
…water vapor is the largest greenhouse effect on Earth… But water vapor does not control the Earth’s temperature, it is controlled by temperature…if the amount of gases did not increase. which do not exist. If there are greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide) that can condense, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere will not change if all other variables remain the same. The addition of non-condensable gases leads to an increase in temperature, which in turn leads to an increase in water vapor, which in turn leads to an even higher temperature. This is an example of a positive effect. The warming that occurs as a result of the increase of non-condensable gases, more water vapor enters the atmosphere, which increases the effect of condensable gases.
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The atmosphere is self-limiting in terms of water vapor. Clouds form when a parcel or volume of air becomes saturated as it cools. Professor Adam Sobel of Columbia University makes a good analogy:
Saying that water vapor is a more important greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is like saying that the amplifier in a sound system is more important than the sound number in sound production. Basically true, but very misleading. CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases are indicators of climate, and water vapor increases their warming.
Texas A&M’s Andrew Dessler discusses the importance of water vapor in climate warming, as well as these complex and increasing effects.
Now let’s take a step back and consider the greenhouse effect. Surprisingly, the abundant gases (nitrogen and oxygen) show almost no warming effect. A small collection of small gases that make up about 0.43% of the atmosphere make it possible for us to live on Earth. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) include: water vapor, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and sulfur hexafluoride. If you teach atmospheric physics or radiative transfer (the core of any good meteorology/climate program), I call these selective absorbers. Selective absorbers absorb and emit energy at the preferred wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. For example, in the stratosphere, ozone is a selective absorber of ultraviolet (UV) radiation (thankfully). Greenhouse gases are selectively absorbed in the infrared part of the spectrum. A reconstruction of blackbody radiation, here is the basis of the statement that “good absorbers make good emitters”.
What Is Climate Change? A Really Simple Guide
The sun drives the climate system, but I find that its effects are often misrepresented due to a lack of understanding of the complexities of the radiative climate system. Mainly solar energy
Radiation (visible and ultraviolet). Much of it is reflected or absorbed by clouds, the atmosphere, or the Earth’s surface. The absorbed energy radiates from the surface.
Radiation (heat). Wien’s law states that objects emit different wavelengths at different temperatures. Because the Earth is cooler than the Sun, it emits light at longer wavelengths (ie there is an inverse relationship between temperature and maximum wavelength). Earth’s longwave radiation is emitted into space or absorbed by greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases emit long-wave energy back into space, into other gases, or back to Earth. The experienced reader will note that the “greenhouse” effect of the atmosphere is actually a series of processes of absorption of emissions, and not just storage of heat (like a real greenhouse).
According to NASA, water vapor accounts for about 50% of the absorption. Carbon dioxide is 20%. Clouds also make up about 25%. The theories of atmospheric physics from Arrhenius (1895) and Callendar (1938) respectively noted how a relatively small contribution of CO2 can warm the atmosphere. However, many people mistakenly assume that water vapor is dominant, rather than the above-mentioned reverse processes. Gavin Schmidt writes:
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…as the temperature increases, the maximum stable concentration of water vapor increases by about 7% per degree Celsius. Clouds also depend on temperature, pressure, convection, and water vapor content. So changes in CO2, which affects the greenhouse effect, also changes water vapor and clouds. Therefore, the total greenhouse effect after a change in CO2 must also take into account the resulting changes in other components. For example, if the concentration of CO2 doubles, the absorption increases by 4 W/m2, but during the reaction of water vapor and clouds, the absorption increases by almost 20 W/m2; This suggests that (in the GISS climate model, at least) the “blockages” are only amplifying the radiative forcing of CO2.
People are often surprised to learn that wet air is less dense than dry air, or that deserts are sometimes cooler. Both of these simple claims are false. This article warns readers that oversimplification is very dangerous. The carbon in carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that keeps heat near the Earth. It helps Earth retain some of the heat it receives from the Sun so that it doesn’t all escape into space. But CO
This is only good up to a point; Moreover, the temperature of the Earth is getting very hot. NASA’s research satellites, such as OCO-2 and OCO-3, study how carbon moves around the planet.
All living things on Earth contain carbon. Even you have carbon. A lot! Like other living things on this planet, we are part of the Earth’s carbon cycle. Plants absorb CO
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. They store carbon and release oxygen. Animals breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Carbon, including carbon monoxide, moves in and out of the air over long periods of time. This carbon cycle has remained in balance for a long time.
Carbon dioxide is an essential gas for life on the planet. (Remember when we breathe deeply?) Maintaining the protective cover that makes up Earth’s atmosphere is critical. Carbon dioxide is often referred to as “C-O-2” (pronounced see-oh-iki) and written as “CO”.
Because “C” represents carbon and “O” represents oxygen. Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases on earth.
Because two oxygen atoms are connected to one carbon atom. This drawing of a carbon dioxide molecule shows a larger carbon atom (the C center) between two oxygen atoms (the O symbol). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
The Greenhouse Effect And The Global Energy Budget
Greenhouse gases trap heat from the Sun. If there were no greenhouse gases, this heat would leave the Earth’s atmosphere and return to space. Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, change the balance between the amount of carbon in the air and the amount of carbon stored in plants and oceans. These activities contribute to the amount of CO2
The Earth’s atmosphere retains some of the Sun’s heat and prevents it from returning to space at night. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Heat in the atmosphere closer to the Earth. It helps our planet retain some of the heat it receives from the Sun, so not all of the energy escapes into space.
If this greenhouse effect did not exist, the Earth’s oceans would freeze. If there was no greenhouse effect, the Earth would turn into a ball of ice! Earth would not be such a beautiful blue and green living planet.
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Without the greenhouse effect, Earth would look like the picture on the left: a ball of ice! However, our planet is full of life and liquid water due to the greenhouse effect. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Nature is all around us. It comes from decay, living organisms, and volcanoes.” The graphic on the right describes the bad, less natural effects of carbon dioxide: “CO.
The atmosphere increased and the temperature of the Earth increased. And when the temperature CO rises
Atmospheric levels are rising further, largely because of the ocean’s role in the carbon cycle. As ocean temperatures rise, the oceans release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; it loses its bubble like a glass of soda on a hot day.
Extreme Co2 Levels Could Trigger Clouds ‘tipping Point’ And 8c Of Global Warming
It grew after the industrial revolution. Credit: Luthi, D., et al. 2008; Etheridge, DM, et al. 2010; Information about Vostok glacier / J.R. Petit and others; NOAA Mauna Loa CO
How is our planet responding to this change in one of the key elements of life on Earth? To answer this, we need to carefully monitor carbon. We need to know how and where it enters and exits the atmosphere and how it interacts with weather and climate.
To better observe the carbon cycle on Earth. OCO-2 investigates important questions about Earth’s carbon dioxide from space! NASA’s OCO-2 is also helping to explore how measurements from space can predict future CO2
Using technologies like OCO-2, we can measure and map carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to help us understand how carbon and climate interact. water vapor, Earth
Climate Change Impacts
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