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Q: Describe briefly the theory behind man-caused global warming. Include a list of some of the gases that are believed to contribute to global warming
A: Essentially, ask any climatologist and they will tell you that man's excessive waste and pollution is spewing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. [ Definition of a greenhouse gases, according to wiki, are "gases in an atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range." Basically, they absorb heat. H2O also counts as a greenhouse gas, apparently.
The average temperature of the Earth's surface, is 15 degrees Celsius. The sun, on average, provides enough warmth to heat up the Earth's surface to 30 degrees Celsius. But nearly half of that heat is bounced back up into space. Greenhouse gases absorb the heat, and release some of it back onto Earth, increasing the surface temperature. There have always been greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, but with the start of the industrial period (1750s), the amount of it in our atmosphere has increased proportionally. Most common greenhouse gases: Water vapour, CO2, Nitrous oxide, ozone and methane (about a third of which is released from the belch of a cow). To sum up: Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide (CO2) that has been stored away underground for millions of years. This adds extra CO2 that the normal carbon cycle can't move out of the atmosphere. Deforestation has removed millions of trees all over the world that used to absorb and store carbon. All this means that the atmosphere is overloaded with greenhouse gases which are warming the earth. This global warming is causing climate change. ]
Expert answered|sipichapie|Points 500|
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Asked 9/13/2011 8:17:23 PM
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