Greenhouse Gases?

What makes carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas, and explain what greenhouse gases do (that other atmospheric gases do not) to cause global warming. Name other common greenhouse gases and tell what they have in common with carbon dioxide that makes each of them a greenhouse gas.

what would you suggest to reduce greenhouse emmisions?

3 Answers

  • Greenhouse gas is one of the greatest misnomers of modern time. These gases do not behave in any respect like a greenhouse.

    Greenhouse gases absorb long wavelength infra red radiation into a vibrational mode of the molecule. That is, they aborb it and get warm.

    This is important because high energy radiation comes from the sun and hits the Earth, warming it. But the Earth cools down by emitting long wavelength infra red. Greenhouse gases absorb this and warm the atmosphere preventing the loss of heat. Without them the average surface temperature of the Earth would be around -40C and there would be no life.

    There are more than 20 common greenhouse gases, of which CO2 is just the best known. What makes them greenhouse gases is that one of their bonds has a vibrational mode with a frequency that responds in the infra red.

  • Carbon dioxide is transparent to visible light which passes through and warms the Earth. Then it blocks the infrared light (heat) from radiating back into space. It works exactly like the glass in a greenhouse.

    Others that do that are water vapor, methane, and others.

    The "greenhouse effect" that results is mostly natural and a good thing. But man’s emission of greenhouse gases is enough to upset the delicate natural balance and cause excessive greenhouse effect or "global warming".

    That threatens to flood coastal cities and cause changing weather patterns which will severely damage agriculture. Rich countries can cope, but it will cost them huge sums of money and lower standards of living. Poor countries have a hard time feeding themselves right now. In those many people will die of starvation.

    We can reduce the worst effects, but only if we start to work hard now. Ways to do that are:

    Conserve energy.

    Develop alternative surces of energy; nuclear, solar, wind, and biofuels. It’s a big problem, we’ll need them all.

    Develop ways to capture (“sequester”) carbon dioxide from power plants and industrial processes.

  • It absorb infrared energy from the sun. Lot of organic compound do absorb infrared including methane. One of most common source is burning of fossil fuel that release co2 into air. Key is to avoid doing just that or try to capture co2 or other green house gases before they are released into atmosphere like catalytic converter in your car.

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